A guide to the 2016 harvest: Chile

Chilean winerysAs a result of the very cool and rainy spring, the 2016 harvest was a little later in most regions. It was a challenging year for many and yields are expected to be down by up to 20%. However, the wines are showing good acidity and fresh fruit flavours, with lower alcohol levels all around.

Here is a round-up of the harvest by a few of our Chilean producers:

Garage Wine Co
2016 began with a persistently rainy spring, which had a multitude of effects – from delaying the ploughing that is done by horse to limiting hang-time of the grapes. Much of the 2016 wines have less alcohol than normal and the average dropped from 13.5 to 13.2, while the concentration of these wines remained notable.

According to owner and winemaker Derek Mossmann Knapp, it was a stand-out year for Garnacha, which was harvested before the rain. These wines are deep and flavourful, with great acidity and softer tannins. Cabernet Franc from Maule was also harvested earlier, in the warmer Loncomilla part of Maule or Secano Interior, and these wines are a little lighter and very floral.

Derek explains, “The real challenge came with high-yield Cabernet and old vine Pais from vineyards more centrally located. Picking later due to their high yields was a challenge, and some vineyards rotted before they could be picked. While 2016 will no doubt make for less quality at the lower end, certain dry-farmed wines from the Secano will be stellar.”

Vina Ventisquero
For Ventisquero, the overall production for 2016 is expected to be lower throughout the regions.

In Atacama, the season was a little warmer than usual, so harvest took place earlier in perfect conditions. The Leyda wines are showing good balance, crisp mouthfeel and fresh fruit profile. For Maipo and Casablanca, the spring was fresher than usual with a mild summer, leading to delayed veraison and lower alcohol levels in the wines. Conditions in Apalta were similar and because of the low yields, these grapes could be harvested earlier. The wines are showing good concentration, deep colour and moderate alcohol levels.

With sites throughout Chile, everything was a little late for Valdivieso this year, primarily due to the very cool spring. As a whole, the wines have very good natural acidity levels. The white grape yields are down around 15%, while red is also roughly down by 10 to 15%.

Find out more about the 2016 harvest across the rest of the Southern Hemisphere.



24th June 2016

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