The Rioja harvest has returned to ‘pre-global warming’ dates and yielded 15 million kg fewer grapes than in 2007.
The CRDOCA has announced final yield figures from the 2008 harvest.
President Victor Pascual said: “A total yield of 397million kg of high quality grapes were harvested from September to November, 15 million kg fewer than in 2007. The potential wine production will be slightly lower than that of previous years, with an expected volume of approx. 278 million litres of wine.”
This year saw a return to ‘traditional’ harvest dates rather than the accelerated maturity seen in recent years, attributed by many to global warming. The first grapes, early ripening varietals such as Viura, were picked on 11 September and the last grapes were harvested almost two months later on 9 November.
Stephane Desmarquest, export manager at Hijos de Antonio Barceló said: “The weather during harvest offered good diurnal temperature variation, allowing the grapes to develop a good balance of colour, acidity, phenolics and potential alcohol. Here in Rioja Alavesa we began selectively picking on 11 October. While yields are lower than the 2007 vintage, we expect the quality to be ‘Very Good’”.
Bodegas Domecq’s Karine Euvrard added: “The Campo Viejo bodega received its first grapes on 29 September, approximately two weeks later than in the past five years. This is partly because spring rains and warm, rather than hot, temperatures in July and August meant the grapes took longer to reach optimum maturity. While this is unusual compared to recent harvests, it is actually very similar to traditional harvest times of the past forty years.”