The 2017 harvest begins

And with the most southern reaches of Spain we come to the first grapes to be harvested in all of Europe for the 2017 vintage. In this case, we cast an eye to DO Montilla-Moriles where they have begun to harvest the Sauvignon Blanc grapes now. While this DO and in general, the south of Spain, is usually earlier than everywhere else, this start date is two weeks earlier than 2016 where they had started August 2nd. They say that while it appears to be a quality harvest, the overall total is down. This is a trend we’ve been seeing in Spain for the last three vintages or so, depending on the region.

Montilla-Moriles will quickly be joined by others as I’ve been visiting Cava producers over the last couple of weeks and many were looking towards the next few days to begin harvest of certain plots. Harvests have been getting earlier and earlier in the last few years and this doesn’t come of much of a surprise in addition to the lower yields. There will be a breaking point though as the need to harvest early due to heat will run smack dab into the need to have flavor maturity. Another year like this where there was massive heat through June followed by hot temperatures in July (it reached 47C in Córdoba last week…) as well has made for problems.

In the case of Cava, they have the issue that their finished wine can’t be above 12.5% so their picking window is extremely slim. Other regions have a bit more room to play with as they only have ABV minimums set. Despite all of this and the actions viticulturists are taking against Climate Change, these simply will not be the last headlines of this nature.