Castilla-La Mancha has registered in 2017 one of the earliest harvest campaigns that are remembered, with an earlier harvest of 15-20 days.
DO Valdepeñas has reported a 6% year-on-year drop in this year’s harvest, ending the season with a total of 93.4 million kilos of grapes. Data released for this year’s harvest showed a volume decline of 5.7 million kilos compared to the previous harvest in 2016, which was already scarce, being the most significant decrease in white varieties.
Around 38 million kilos are white grapes authorized in this appellation (Muscatel de Grano Menudo, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Macabeo, Verdejo and Airen) and 55.4 million kilos are red grapes of the following varieties: Petit Verdot, Grenache, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Tempranillo.
The harvest season had developed under normal conditions in the vineyards and in the wineries, with more than 2,500 wine growers in the region, which comprises approximately 22,000 hectares of vineyards, having picked their grapes in “perfect sanitary” conditions and high quality standards. The maximum yields per hectares in order to make wines under DO Valdepeñas are 6,000 kilos for red grapes and 7,500 for white grapes.
This year’s quality predicts a good classification of 2016´s vintage, although we would have to wait until March, when most part of the wines are ready and certified.
Weather conditions in the area of had presented high temperatures and scarce rain during spring and summer, which resulted in an early harvest with a normal maturation cycle according to the characteristics of the area. Vineyards, whose grapes are used for table wines or other quality standards, had suffered from greater decreases.
Forecasted decline in production incited wineries to increase the price of the grapes as the harvest season advanced in order to wineries needs and market demand. Wine growers has benefited from "some profitability" in the price of grapes.
The purchase prices of the first grape deliveries began with significant increases compared to the prices paid at the end of the previous harvest, with increases between 12 and 20%. However, as the grape harvest progressed, the price of the grape increased again between 30 and 33% compared to the end of 2016 harvest.