Harvest 2017: Spain
It was a varied harvest across Spain – from devastatingly-low yields due to frosts in Rioja, to good volumes for sherry producers.
The frosts were followed by a heatwave that affected many regions – which might result in some regionalised price increases. Scorching temperatures accompanied a drought that had the reservoirs half full before the end of July, the lowest for over 20 years. While quantities are down overall, quality remains high.
Here's a roundup from our producers across Spain:
“In what has been described as ‘the worst year for agriculture in Spain for decades’, the story from Rioja is obviously one of the highest profile,” says Bibendum buyer for Spain Jamie Avenell. Rioja was hit badly by the severe April frosts, with Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa the worst affected. Potential yields were then further decreased by the second year of drought conditions and very hot weather through the summer. Volumes are expected to be down by 25-40% across the region.
Acustic Celler | Priorat
“2017 has been a very extreme year: we suffered from 6 months’ water shortage and high temperatures. The vineyards resisted very well, and we have been left with a very, very tiny yield making intense and powerful wines,” says winemaker Albert Jane.
Bodegas Tomas Cusine | Costers del Segre
Tomas Cusine saw the longest vintage on record this year, lasting nearly three months. The vineyards were slightly affected by spring frosts, but more so by the severe drought. Careful sorting had to be done to remove raisoned grapes from less drought-resistant varieties like Riesling and Muller Thurgau. Overall the quality of the grapes was high, but quantities are low. “This vintage is good in acidity and we’re seeing outstanding finesse,” says owner and winemaker Tomas Cusine Barber.
Cava Llopart | Subirats
Llopart saw an excellent quality harvest, with very healthy grapes. They were lucky in avoiding the spring frosts, due to the altitude of the vineyards and south westerly breezes. The yields are a quarter smaller than the 20-year average however, due to heat waves and a lack of rain during the summer.
La Ina | Jerez
The southerly location of Andalucia meant that vineyards here escaped the worst of the spring frosts. Summer was hot for La Ina, but, unlike last year, they did not suffer the crop-diminishing winds of the Levante. The harvest was one of the earliest in the bodegas’ history, and grape quality was excellent.
La Guita | Manzanilla
“2017 harvest in the Sherry region has provided good volume, particularly compared to 2016 where we had some mildew attacking coastal ‘pagos’,” says export director Ignacio López de Carrizosa. “The quality of the 2017 harvest was also very good, with extremely healthy grapes. This year we had a particularly early harvest caused by very high temperatures generated by long periods of the hot, dry Levante wind.
“Our Palomino musts from Miraflores are showing beautiful mineral character and expressive salinity, which is what we are looking for to top up the younger Criaderas of La Guita.”