Aug 29 2022

Adverse Weather Causes Producers to Harvest Earlier Than Ever

Despite wildfires, heat, and drought, Spanish producers have been able to maintain the high quality of their products

Spanish professionals have taken special action this year and have brought forward the harvests. This decision was driven mainly to mitigate the effects of widespread drought, ongoing heat, and wildfires. There has been constant high heat across all of Europe this summer and very little rainfall. Despite these adverse events, producers have been able to maintain the same stellar quality as always.

For example, Caserío de Dueñas, which is part of Entrecanales Domecq e Hijos, began its earliest harvest on record this week, the earliest in its 300-year history. The company is one of Spain’s most important companies in the industry. They started picking Sauvignon Blanc grapes on August 16th and they are the first DO to begin harvesting. 

Godello vineyard

According to Almudena Alberca MW, the company’s director of winemaking, “The nearest the [wildfires] came to our vineyards was in the Valdeorras DO, although thankfully our vines were spared.”  

Others producers have also commenced early picking around Spain. In Catalunya DO, the harvest started two weeks early, on July 27th, and in Jerez DO, the harvest started earlier than ever, on July 28th. 

Alberca highlighted the importance of sustainability in view of the effects of climate change. She noted the changing conditions at the winery, from notable snowfall and cool weather in spring to drought and heat. This makes it very challenging for winemakers—and other types of producers—to adapt. However, they’re committed to providing the same high quality as always and are looking for ways to pivot and find solutions to combat these weather challenges.