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Ferrari moving to higher vines as climate change effects felt

Italian sparkling producer Ferrari Fratelli Lunelli is actively encouraging its growers to plant vines higher in Trentino to avoid the effects of climate change.

‘Nothing below 300m’: Ferrari [pic: enotourtrento.it]

buys grapes from 500 independent growers for its production of 4-5m bottles of Ferrari Perlé, and in recent years it has favoured grapes from growers with higher vineyards and stopped buying fruit grown below 300m, winemaker Marcello Lunelli said at the recent Bollicine du Trento event in the northern Italian province.

‘We pay higher prices for higher quality grapes, and we see most of the time that higher altitude means higher quality,’ Ferrari publicist Camilla Lunelli added.

‘In Trentino the climate has changed very quickly,’ Marcello Lunelli said. ‘The average temperature in our vineyards over the past 30 years has increased by 1°C; more than in the previous 2000 years. To have the same conditions in the future as we’ve had, we need to move the vines 150m higher.’

According to Lunelli, this will guarantee cooler summer temperatures which help preserve the acidity in the grapes necessary to maintain the standard of their sparkling wines. ‘We are lucky because Trentino is a mountain region so we have the space and the altitude,’ he said.

While 61% of Trentino’s vineyards are already planted on elevated hill and mountain sites, Lunelli feels the unique sub-Alpine terrain provides Ferrari with an opportunity.

The producer owns 120ha which are all ideally located between 300-700m, and which are being planted. ‘We’ll have planted 10ha in the next two years, all at 600-750m,’ Lunelli said. ‘But we have to wait ten years to obtain the right quality for a Riserva like Giulio Ferrari.’

Written by Anne Krebiehl

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