Long Wines | Spain concludes one of its earliest and smallest harvests ever
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Spain concludes one of its earliest and smallest harvests ever

As we saw in the initial assessment of this year’s harvest, 2017 has been marked by several climatic factors including frost, hail and drought that have led to smaller volumes across the board. This was particularly the case in Aragón, the north western areas of Bierzo and Rueda (with Rías Baixas ultimately having a very good harvest), and Tempranillo’s northern heartlands of Toro and Ribera del Duero, with the latter experiencing its smallest harvest in 15 years.

This has led to higher grape prices and there is no doubt that speculation has taken over from the initial rise in bulk prices. But we feel that Spanish winemakers are going to have to add value to their wines: a challenge that may prove difficult for some. Experience tells us the consumer does not change price levels so we have been busy looking to pre-empt the situation, sourcing alternative products that will replace wines which leave important price points, such as Ribera del Duero whose prices are literally in orbit as we write. We will keep you informed.

On a more positive note, the harvest has yielded very good quality grapes, accompanied by good levels of structure and aroma, and therefore the resulting wines should be highly satisfactory in terms of quality.