Hail Storm Takes Out Italy’s Vin Santo Harvest

Tuscany’s biggest vin santo producer cancels 2014 vintage

Italy's vin santo production will be very small in 2014 after a hail storm wiped out one of the biggest grape harvests.

Italy’s “holy wine” has fallen prey to an act of God, as one of Tuscany’s top vin santo producers said a hail storm had wiped out a large portion of this year’s grape supply.

Vin santo, or “holy wine,” is a very popular dessert wine made from dried grapes that is usually enjoyed with dried almond cookies for dipping in the wine. But according to The Local, Tenuta di Artimino, one of Tuscany’s biggest vin santo producers, said Thursday that it would not be producing any vin santo for 2014 because a freak hail storm on September 29 destroyed much of the grapes before they could be harvested.

"The harvest was far from easy this year," said estate manager Alessandro Matteoli. "Despite the rainfall and the other vagaries of the weather, the grapes were healthy. But then we had this real hailstorm after the harvest had already started. It was a difficult decision to take, but rather than disappoint customers who know the quality of our wines, we have decided not produce any vin santo or Carmignano Riserva this year.”

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