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Rioja harvest report - 2018

Victory in Rioja 

 

There is a sense of optimism in Rioja, where a large harvest of 486 million kg of healthy, high-quality grapes draws to a close. 

 

 

The results of one of the largest harvests, which took place over many stages, are extremely positive in the Rioja DOC, yielding a total of 486 million kg of grapes (204.44 million kg in Rioja Alta, 178.95 in Rioja Oriental and 93.62 in Rioja Alavesa. 88% of the total yield were red grapes and 12% white). This quantity will allow the region to reach this year’s target.  

The total volume harvested demonstrates that 2018, whilst being a complex year with a marked Atlantic influence, did not suffer from major climatic events during the final cycle. This allowed producers to wait for the optimal moment for harvest. Pablo Franco, director of the body that controls the Consejo Regulador, confirmed that “the harvest, which was large and staggered, began on 27th August and ended on 15th November. It has been dependent on two key factors: a generous climate that allowed the producers to obtain the necessary quality, and a rigorous selection, both in the vineyards as well as in the wineries.”

Regarding the quality of the resulting wines he added: “On first impression, the wines have a lower alcohol level and a good aromatic definition. These initial discoveries show us a fine structure, typical of the most traditional Riojas. This is perhaps why this harvest is redolent of many of the larger harvests of former years, which resulted in wines notable for their balance and freshness rather than high levels of alcohol.”

The good vegetal state of the vines, combined with extraordinary levels of plant health, have been key factors in realising these results. This is in addition to the hard work of the 15,000 viticulturers and 600 bodegas in the region, without forgetting the 200+ specialists and harvest hands working in the Consejo Regulador. .