Rioja celebrates a high quality harvest

Weather conditions were tricky and yields were down, but the Rioja Consejo says the wines are going to be exceptional

Rioja Alta Haro/Consejo
Rioja Alta Haro/Consejo

Yields were down in Rioja in 2019 because of less vigour in the vineyard, which the Consejo Regulador de Rioja DOCa says “guarantee maximum quality”.

This year, growers were subjected to “extraordinary weather conditions throughout the harvest and especially throughout October”, according to a statement from the Consejo.

“Although it is still early to look at the results, we have high hopes that this vintage will be recorded as a memorable year in the history of Rioja wine,” said Pablo Franco, director of the Control Chamber of the denomination. 

Approximately 385m kg of grapes were harvested, of which 187m came from Rioja Alta, 109m from Rioja Oriental, and 89m from Rioja Alavesa; 342m kg were red, with the remaining 43m kg white. While yields were down, the clusters were less tightly packed and the grapes were smaller. The last few days of the harvest saw high temperatures, which led to accelerated grape ripening and a slight increase in alcohol levels.

People in the region are feeling optimistic, said Franco. “Despite the season having been a complex one, we didn’t suffer from major climactic setbacks, which allowed us to pick at the optimal time.”

He went on to say that the first impressions are very encouraging. “The rains came just at the right moment and the vegetative conditions have been exceptional all year round.” The result is “balanced wines with great aromatic intensity and very good colour extraction”.

Via press release


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