"We are in the middle of the grape season. For now, the harvest is going as expected. State-of-the-art farms like ours, which also have crops in the greenhouse, have not suffered at all from a delay in harvest due to the cold and rainy spring," said Vito Cascone, commercial director of the Sicilian growers' association OP Agrologica. "Thanks to our modern cultivation methods, we started at the right time at the beginning of May. By then the grapes were already showing a Brix value of more than 14."
"We haven't had any problems with the crop this year. We are free of plant diseases and the overall quality is excellent. The grapes are well shaped, and the bunches are homogeneous and pleasing to the eye. We have white and black grapes, both seedless and seeded varieties. We have traditional varieties, but also value-added grapes that do well especially abroad."
Organic cultivation since 1996
"The quality has been rewarded this year with prices for the first volumes 30% higher than last year's in the same period. Usually, prices then fall little by little as more and more volumes come onto the market. Our grapes are very popular because they are grown organically. They make up half of our sales."
"With about 200 hectares of land, part of which is greenhouse cultivation, we can continuously supply our foreign customers. We sell 40% of our grapes in France, 30% in Germany and 20% in Scandinavia. Only 10% of our customers are Italian companies. France values our grapes mainly because they are harvested at the right stage of ripeness. The color then tends to yellow, and the sugar content is high. In August we harvest the medium-aged grape varieties, white, pink and black. We pick the last fruit at the end of November," concluded Cascone.