25th April, 2014 by Lauren Eads
The Control Board of D.O.Ca. Rioja has officially rated the 2013 vintage “good” following sampling of nearly 4,000 of the region’s wines.
Wineries within the designated Rioja region produced a total of 263.70 million litres of wine in 2013, a vintage marked by “unusual weather conditions” which the Board said had been as successfully managed by Rioja’s grape growers and winemakers.
In a press note released today, the Control Board of D.O.Ca. Rioja said: “It was a difficult year for grape producers. The 2013 vintage growing cycle had weather patterns that were quite different to those of previous years. Heavy spring rains and low temperatures delayed the growing season and resulted in uneven ripening.
“Fortunately, the risk posed by the two-to-three week delay was offset by prevailing good weather in September and October allowing for selective, staggered grape picking, so plots were harvested as the grapes reached appropriate ripeness, thereby optimising fruit quality. With such a demanding growing season, Rioja growers had to make full use of their expertise, showing how well prepared they are to deal with situations as complex as this late vintage and get the most of it, to the intense satisfaction of the winemakers.”
A total of 3,973 samples of the 2013 vintage were submitted, taken from batches of no more than 100,000 litres, analysed at Oenological laboratories and assessed by a tasting committee including three professional wine tasters.
Each sample was required to pass “rigorous analytical and sensory tests” before it could be protected by the Designation of Origin.
In total 260.78 million litres were submitted for approval with 251.44 million litres were approved (14.91 white, 12.82 rosé and 223.71 red), with the remaining rejected.
The 2013 harvest ended on November 8 making its the region’s most delayed harvest in recent history, and also one of the smallest yielding a total of 368.42 million kg of grapes, slightly more than the 355 million kg of grapes produced in 2012.