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Alella wineries begin a grape harvest of “exceptional” quality and comparable to 2005

Alella wineries, in Greater Barcelona, have started this summer’s harvest, with predictions that this year’s vintage may be better than 2005 thanks to the absence of plant disease and favourable weather conditions throughout the year. For now, the only concern for winemakers is this August’s amount of heat, which could cause a drop in acidity.


20 August 2012 11:00 PM


ACN / Jordi Pujolar / David Tuxworth

Barcelona (ACN). \u2013 The wineries of Alella, a Catalan wine appellation (DO) located near Barcelona, have started to harvest the first grapes of this year. According to experts, as long as weather conditions do not change suddenly, this could be an \u201Cexceptional and wonderful\u201D vintage. Josep Maria Pujol-Busquets, an oenologist from the Alta Alella winery predicts that the wine quality \u201Cmay be comparable to 2005\u201D, thanks to the absence of disease and the grapes\u2019 state of maturity, following very favourable weather this year. \u201CIt rained at the right times and the vines could grow and flower well\u201D, he explained. For now, the only concern is the amount of heat this August, which could cause a drop in acidity.

\u201CThat\u2019s the interesting thing about wine, it\u2019s the variability that does not depend on our work and that gives us the differences between one year and another\u201D. Pujol-Busquets is aware that the outcome of the harvest is not totally in his hands, but weather conditions have been favourable this year for the Alella DO, located in the northern part of Greater Barcelona.

Therefore it may be the best vintage of the last seven years, according to the winemaker. The only factors that may be a problem are excessive heat this August or rain in September.  Regarding the current temperatures, Pujol-Busquets explains that it may lower the acidity of the grapes, \u201CWe can water the plants to reduce the effects, but this isn\u2019t very convenient\u201D.

As has been customary for some years, the Alta Alella Privat winery starts the harvest early. They have started to gather the \u2018Pinot Noir\u2019, a black grape variety that is harvested early to prevent it from getting too dark, as it can then be used to make cava. \u201CIt gives a very thin and fresh bubble, with good acidity\u201D, explained the winemaker.

In the coming days they will also harvest the \u2018Sauvignon\u2019, to avoid too much sun, and then the 'Chardonnay' and the \u2018Xarel·lo\u2019.


  • Harvesting grapes at the Alta Alella winery (by J. Pujolar)

  • Harvesting grapes at the Alta Alella winery (by J. Pujolar)