Long Wines’ partner wineries expect smaller but high quality 2016 vintage

With harvest now well underway, our winemaker Fernando Mora and product manager Elena Ramos have been in close contact with our partner wineries to keep up-to-date on vine conditions. Reports suggest that, in general, our growers across Spain are expecting a 2016 harvest of good quality but slightly smaller in quantity than 2015.

In the DO Campo de Borja, where we source the grapes for our Pléyades , Chispas  and new Las Carlinas Old Vine Garnacha wines, the harvest is expected to be around 20-25% smaller than last year’s bumper crop, although still higher than historic averages. Like many parts of Spain, the DO located in Aragón, NE Spain, experienced a relatively wet winter, and a cool spring, which led to quite uneven fruit set in the garnacha, This, together with a very dry summer, has limited production in terms of quantity, although the smaller berries will lead to high quality wines.

Castilla-La Mancha, responsible for more than half of Spain’s wine production, is expecting a total yield of around 23 million hl, a medium-high level of production, although drought has lead to a smaller size and weight of individual berries. The harvest started 12 days later than last year, towards the end of August and quality is good.

The northern half of the meseta – Castilla y Leon – saw more rainfall and none of the hail and frost problems of previous years, so the quality wine production areas of DO Ribera del Duero and DO Toro are expecting average production levels with good quality. The Verdejo grape in the DO Rueda experienced problems with coulure – leading to uneven grape formation – which will reduce overall yields.

In the warm Mediterranean, DO Terra Alta, from where we source grapes for our new Pléyades Reserva, harvest started in early September, 10 days behind the average dates. The yield is also smaller than in 2015 although in line with 10-year averages.

in Catalunya, the Cava producers are also expecting a smaller harvest, affected by the lack of rain in June, July and August, although the local Xarel.lo and Macabeo grapes, used in our De Pró Brut Cava, are reported to be in excellent health with a great balance of acidity and sugars.

In the more northerly Rioja DOCa, where the harvest in cooler areas of the Rioja Alta and Alavesa can run to the end of October, early forecasts are good. Although this year’s cycle was running behind previous years, the hot dry weather at the start of September accelerated ripening in the warmer Rioja Baja, where the winery that makes our award-winning Finca Mónica  is based.

For more information about the harvest please contact our Product Manager, Elena Ramos at elena@longwines.com