Barolo's 2023 growing season

View from Castiglione towards La Morra

The year of peronospora and, again, heat. Above, the wiew from Castiglione towards La Morra.

2023 may go into the historic annals as ‘the year of peronospora’ (also known as downy mildew) for whole swathes of Europe, but according to Maria Teresa Mascarello, who runs the Bartolo Mascarello estate in Barolo, it wasn’t so much the year of fungal pressure, but rather that of an unprecedented heatwave.

After Ferragosto, a national Italian holiday on 15 August, the region recorded temperatures of 32–40 °C (90–104 °F) for more than eight days. ‘We suffered damage from the drought and heat...