Winemaker´s Harvest Report 2020

Nature & Nurture

Harvest Report 2020

Yecla-Spain – 2020 Harvest recorded a 5-15% higher production in 2020 in comparison to 2019 however within the normal size harvest when looking over the last 10 years.

The heavy rains, throughout Spain, during springtime had us all concern because of the serious risk to mildew. The farmers on our plots throughout Yecla took extreme measure to protect the harvest and with the higher altitude vineyards the natural elements also worked toward protecting the grapes.

As our old Monastrell vineyards in Yecla are secano, dry farmed, they are dependent on natural precipitation. Early spring showers fed these droughted areas with the necessary rain to kick start the growth and provided extra nutrition and a water reserve to make for a very health and productive growth.

You have to remember that these old vines are accustomed to a stressful cycle with low perception and due to the lack of water they struggle to reach full phenolic ripeness. The opposite is also true, meaning when the unexpected rain comes early, as what took place in 2020, we have a beautiful result of a healthier fruit set after flowering, stronger canopies to allow for a full ripening of the grape clusters and a high quality crop which give fantastic results in the wine.

I was visiting the vineyard with the family on July 27th to check on the grape development. The temperature at the vineyards were in the high 30s. The old vines were flourishing with healthy green canopies and youthful rizados of tendrils shooting out. We had loose grape clusters at early veraison.

The high dry temperatures continued throughout August. At exactly a month after veraison, August 28th, Monastrell clusters where a beautiful and health dark purple-blue color protect by the dark green cover of the canopies. There are no signs of wilted leave and all the berries were plum and dry, both evidences that they early rain was still providing the necessary nourishment to energize the vines through the weeks of maturation to reach full ripeness. The grapes may look like they are ready to be harvest at this point, however in tasting the berries they are still lacking flavors, sugars and polymerizing of the tannins. We are excited because over the next 4-5 weeks the acidity will adjust in the grapes, sugars will increase and will result in very flavorful, beautiful wines.

September 24th, and just days away from harvest

Harvest is set and we will start picking on 26 of September, 2020. The canopies have held up great with only a few leaves which have turned yellow. This is a great sign and show the vine is coming to an end of its yearly cycle. The grapes are a beautiful color showing full ripeness and only a slight dehydration on the vines which for me is a great sign of concentration. Tasting the berries, they are delicious, full of flavors, rich in sugars yet maintaining a good balance of acidity. I am very excited about this harvest as it will be a very good one in the bottle.

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