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News & Press Releases

Rioja Vintage Update 2017





Rioja Vintage Update 2017 – earliest in history but of excellent quality


 • The 2017 harvest was marked by the effects of frost and drought and, although limited in volume, shows great diversity and excellent quality.

 • Exceptional grape quality coupled with producers’ expertise has ensured that the overall results are very promising 


The provisional results of the 2017 harvest place total production at around 359 million kilograms of grapes. Compared with previous years the region has reported its earliest vintage in history, however with excellent grape quality due to selective harvesting from across the region.

The final amount of grapes harvested shows that 2017 was a vintage beset by complicated weather conditions, including a severe frost on the 28 April. “The 2017 harvest has been the most complicated in recent years and surprising due to exceptional weather conditions”, comments Pablo Franco, Technical Director DOCa Rioja. “August rains helped to maintain the ripening balance and raise the production volume expectations after a growing cycle marked by a severe spring frost and high summer temperatures.”

The Control Board will soon begin the rating process (involving detailed laboratory tests and tastings) to accurately assess the wines produced by each winery and in the region as a whole.

The Harvest Standards were approved following a consensus in July based on the result of exhaustive work by the Technical Service, employing state-of-the-art technology and an unprecedented number of vineyard inspections from early April.

For the first time in history, frost damage to vines was examined on an individual basis and three levels of maximum yields were applied depending on the extent of the damage.

Initial quality impressions of the 2017 vintage wines are very promising, as “the first pressings show great aromas, with excellent structure, colour and polyphenols,” according to Franco.

Good canopy development and impeccable grape quality were fundamental in achieving these results, in addition to major efforts by grape growers, wineries and an operation involving close to 200 Control Board technicians and harvest workers. The harvest volume will be sufficient to maintain the Rioja wine balance, an essential requirement for the region.   




For more information, please contact the Wines from Rioja team at Phipps on

0207 759 7400 /


Notes to Editors

  • Wines from Rioja is the UK marketing arm of The Rioja Regulatory Council or Consejo Regulador de Rioja DOCa, the body responsible for the application and monitoring of legislation relating to the quality and standards of wines produced in the region, promotion of the image of Rioja wines and defence of interests of the sector.
  • Phipps Relations has been working with the Consejo Regulador de Rioja since 2007 and is responsible for all marketing and promotion of the Rioja region in the UK. Over the last eight years, the multi award-winning integrated campaign has contributed a value growth of over 50% across the Rioja category.