Volume of wine approved: 273.37 million litres
- Red wine: 246.67 million litres.
- White wine: 14.21 million litres.
- Rosé wine: 12.49 million litres.
The general development of the vineyards throughout the growth cycle of this harvest was good, both in terms of plant development and of plant health. The most notable weather incidents were the high rainfall figures during the dormant period (November to February), the hail storm on 24 May which caused severe damage to about 1,700 ha in Rioja Baja and the hot, dry summer. During harvest, it rained throughout the Wine Region from 16 until 18 September, slowing down ripening and favouring the grapes alcohol-phenolic balance. The September rain marked a turning point in obtaining a top quality harvest. From then on and until the end of the harvest, the weather was dry and sunny, allowing grapes to attain optimal maturity while retaining perfect health, thanks to a practically complete absence of pests and diseases.
The final figures of the 2009 harvest amounted to 412.3 million kilograms of grapes which were processed by 657 wineries (331 agers, 38 co-operatives, 47 keepers and 241 growers). Production was the same as 2007 and slightly higher than 2008, with 100% budding, normal fertility rates for Rioja and good fruitset. In fact, green harvesting was necessary in many vineyards across the Wine Region to ensure final yields would remain below the limits determined by the Regulations.
The Control Board officially rated the 2009 Rioja vintage as "Very Good" after a strict assessment process involving testing and tasting over 4,211 representative samples of the 297.76 million litres of wine made with this harvest. This is the fourth consecutive vintage to be rated 'Very Good' despite progressively stricter rating standards over the past few years, with additional requirements regarding polyphenols and colour. The high demands that growers place upon themselves in adopting such significant measures as limiting yields is producing excellent results in wine quality, making it possible for Rioja to continue as a quality benchmark on the market.
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