Ribera del Duero recovers with bumper 2018 harvest

Spain’s Ribera del Duero saw volumes rise to its second highest level in 2018, as the region recovered from disastrous weather last year, which slashed its harvest by more than 60%.

Around 125m kilo of grapes were picked in this year’s harvest, which took place between the middle of September and the end of October, the second highest level recorded in recent years, according to The Consejo Regulador de la Denominación de Origen Ribera del Duero.

The bumper year marked a recovery from the disastrous 2017 vintage, when 60% of the harvest was affected by frosts in late April that covered Spain as well as droughts, when only half the usual rainfall was recorded.

Agustín Alonso, Consejo Regulador’s technical director said the harvest was characterised by great freshness, and good acidity and balanced tannins and called to mind harvests from the last century that had aged well.

“The harvest is marked by the production of lighter fresh wines with a great weight of the fruit component,”

“After a 2017 marked by the weather and drought, the cycle of the vineyard in 2018 has turned out to be of a very high production, characterised by its excellent sanitary state and optimum quality ” he said.

He pointed out that the average yield of 5,405 Kg / Ha, was well below the maximum 7,700 Kg limit allowed by its regulations.

“The wineries and vine growers intentionally look for low yields because they focus on the optimum quality. Our vine growers are aware that in the vineyard there is an inverse relationship between quality and quantity, with low yield vineyards offering the best quality,” he added.

Around 80% of the grapes are still picked by hand in the region, which recorded a total of 8,224 wine growers and 315 wineries.

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