The Rain in Spain....

Wed 1 Dec 2004

The 2004 harvest in Spain has brought mixed results. Many regions suffered dull, cloudy and cool weather during August, the height of the ripening season. Rioja and Navarra were especially affected, although the weather improved in September to bring perfect ripening weather and the prospects, particularly for Navarra, look good.

In Penedes the harvest was threatened by unusually high rainfall, but improving weather and careful selection of the grapes should provide at least a 'buena' (good) vintage, possibly better.

Rķas Baixas experienced the biggest harvest in its history - up 38% on 2003 - mainly due to new sub-regions coming to maturity and the region is expecting a 'muy buena' (very good) or even 'excelente' (excellent) vintage.

La Mancha also experienced a bumper harvest, with excellent ripeness and sugar levels and the DO is confidently predicting an 'excelente' (excellent) vintage.

Despite rain early in the year, a moderately hot August and September meant that Jerez did not experience any significant weather problems, and the region brought in a record harvest with excellent quality grapes. Hopes are for an 'excelente' (excellent) vintage.

Anecdotal feedback from other regions suggest that the harvest in Ribera del Duero was excellent (hopes are that the harvest will yield some good Gran Reserva wines), and that the harvests in regions such as Toro and Priorato were good.


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