"The grape season in Sicily is currently slightly behind schedule. This winter we have had very low temperatures, down to -3 °C, which has slowed down the growth of the buds, at least in several plots in the Mazzarrone area," said Giovanni Raniolo, president of the Consortium for the Protection of the Mazzarrone grape with Protected Geographical Indication.
Simone and Giovanni Raniolo, at Fruit Logistica 2022
"Currently the grapevines are in full bloom. The flowering phase is normal. Despite the delay, we do not exclude an acceleration of the vegetative phase, now that the weather has completely changed. In recent years we have increasingly witnessed sudden changes in a matter of days. Therefore, we are not worried about the timing for next season," said Giovanni Raniolo.
"In the week leading up to Easter, the quality of the grapes will be determined depending on how well the clusters have grown. Then we will assess the quantity of clusters and how many grapes are still underdeveloped on the clusters. Based on that, we will know how much manpower will be required to clean the bunches in the vineyard. This cultivation technique requires experience and great dexterity. The quality of the bunch depends largely on this and therefore determines the value that the product will achieve on the markets. This is true for the grapes with seeds."
"For the seedless grapes, we can already say that there is a good quantity of clusters and we expect a season similar to that of previous years, both in terms of quality and volumes. The increase in production costs does weigh heavily. We hope that retailers can recognize our efforts with adequate compensation, so that the companies can continue to invest. Currently, it' s a matter of survival. Although various anti-crisis measures exist, the Consortium cannot rely on them. They are essentially intended for the growers."