The end of the harvest confirms good expectations
End point to our 2019 harvest. The harvest season started on 9 September in the vineyards of Lagar de Cervera, Rías Baixas, and ended on Wednesday 16 October in the Áster vineyards in Ribera del Duero. They were six weeks during which a great team of more than 150 people worked hard both at the vineyard and at our four wineries, performing essential harvest tasks whose results confirm good expectations.
Of particular note was the high quality of the Torre de Oña grapes, leading the Head Winemaker Julio Sáenz to state that "we are quite possibly looking at one of the best crops ever" for our winery in Rioja Alavesa. This follows on the laboratory tests and sensory tastings of the first musts, which prove “very well-balanced, with high colour intensity, very good acidity, great freshness and outstanding aromatic intensity, with that strong fruit expression that we require in our Rioja Alavesa wines.”
Meanwhile, at La Rioja Alta, S.A., the initial balance is also positive despite the difficult weather that plagued our vineyards throughout the year. Constant work on the estates, harvesting grapes in small boxes and optical selection have allowed us to achieve some particularly good wines with high colour intensity; very suitable for barrel aging. The only issue is the alcoholic strength, which was significantly higher than that of previous vintages.
At Áster, we were very patient and waited until a very good ripening balance was reached in the Tinta del País grapes. This meant getting musts with a high colour intensity and firm, friendly tannins that make us quite optimistic about their evolution. In this case, alcoholic strength has also been somewhat higher than in previous crops.
Finally, in our Galician winery, Lagar de Cervera, the wines have already concluded their fermentations without incident. We are very happy with the quality achieved, although there was a significant drop in production, as in the rest of the Rías Baixas, which for us could be as low as 40% below last year’s figures.