Start of the grape harvest in Penedès that will produce an ‘excellent’ vintage

The Penedès wine appellation is expecting “excellent” wines from this year’s harvest. Catalonia’s most important viticultural area has already started harvesting its chardonnay grapes and is expecting to harvest the other varieties in the next few days. The weather this year has been favourable for the appellation, with a “very healthy” crop that despite a reduction in volume, will be sufficient to fulfil the 22 million bottles normally produced by the wineries.

Albert Vilà, the owner of Mas Comtal winery, picking some grapes to be checked and decide the best moment to harvest them (ACN)
Albert Vilà, the owner of Mas Comtal winery, picking some grapes to be checked and decide the best moment to harvest them (ACN) / CNA / Javi Polinario / David Tuxworth

CNA / Javi Polinario / David Tuxworth

August 23, 2012 10:59 PM

Vilafranca del Penedès (ACN).- The Penedès wine appellation has told the CNA that this year’s grape harvest will be “excellent” across all varieties. The harvest has started with the chardonnay grapes and checks are being made to find the best time to harvest the other varieties, which will likely be in a few days. The Director of Penedès Appelation’s Regulatory Council predicts that “white wines will be of a very good quality” and “the reds and rosés, exceptional”. This is due to favourable weather conditions, there has been little rain and temperatures have been high this year. The weather has helped produce a healthy crop but also reduced the quantity of grapes, although ultimately this will not affect the volume of bottles produced by the appellation.

The wineries have already began collecting the Chardonnay grapes and according to the Director of the Appellation, Francesc Olivella, they are of a “very good” quality, as the other varieties such as Macabeo, Xarel·lo and Parellada are expected to be. Other varieties such as Pinot Noir, Merlot and Grenache will be harvested in the upcoming days, after tests to find the optimal potential alcohol content, pH and overall acidity. The wines produced from the soon to be harvested grapes will be of “an exceptional quality”, according to Olivella.

The weather conditions this year have been different, there has not been much rain and there have been high temperatures, which combined have advanced the maturation date of the grapes and the subsequent harvest. The favourable weather has also led to a “very healthy” crop, without infections or illnesses. In addition, “that’s taking into account that more and more vineyards are using organic methods”, said the Director of the Appellation.

The dry weather has meant there are fewer grapes than last year although the appellation will still be able to produce its normal amount of 22 million bottles. The appellation is expecting a change in weather during the next few days with moderate temperatures during the day and lower temperatures at night.