Spain 2019 harvest report region by region

Rioja– grapes crushed in 2019: 385 million kg

For Rioja, the climate was far more Mediterranean in style over the growing period in contrast to the much cooler, wetter conditions of 2018. Areas that had suffered badly from the severe frosts of 2017 also showed full recovery and a ‘return to normal’ this year, according to Pablo Franco, technical director at Rioja’s Consejo Regulador.

“Warm temperatures led to an early budbreak but the weather at flowering was not ideal due to wind and rain and there was a poor fruitset,” said Franco. Vines offered small bunches and at this stage it was already clear that the crop would be around 20% lower than an average but also boding well for quality thanks to smaller berries potentially offering intense flavours.

The dry conditions which followed throughout summer and on into the autumn favoured a less vigorous vine growth compared to last year and below average bunch weights at the time of harvest. Stormy weather in June did not prove to be problematic however there were concerns when heavy rains came on September 20and 21causing a break in the harvest. But the weather soon became stable…“The weather changed and there was a northern wind which avoided botrytis. It was important to wait for the best quality and get something extraordinary,” said Franco.

The weather remained favourable well into the autumn allowing a staggered harvest across the three main areas – Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Oriental – and for all grape varieties. There are high hopes for Tempranillo wines in all their different guises but varieties such as Graciano and Garnacha, later-ripening varieties which can struggle to ripen in cooler years, performed well in 2019 and will contribute depth and complexity to blends. Most encouragingly this was seen across the region – a good vintage all round.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters