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Dez 05

Rioja brings harvest to a close

Tag: Länder,Regionensigi.hiss @ 13:01

Regulating Council satisfied with 2008 harvest’s “high quality” – The technical services at QDO Rioja’s Regulating Council signed off the 2008 harvest with a total yield, in volume, of 397 million kilos of grapes from the 60,905 productive hectares endorsed for this campaign; 3.6 percent down on the previous year. However, the overall quality of the fruit gave rise to immense satisfaction, as the exceptionally favourable weather conditions led to the perfect evolution of alcoholic and phenologic ripening.

In a press release, the Regulating Council explained that the harvest weather conditions were, “excellent” and that the fruit’s sanitary conditions were, “practically perfect” stating that, “the Rioja vineyards have benefited from optimum conditions which have given rise to a very high quality harvest”.

However, the 2008 harvest’s potential yield was slightly more moderate than in previous campaigns. First estimates indicate 397 million kilos of grapes, from which approximately 278 million litres of wine will be made; a harvest volume 15 million kilos down on the 2007 harvest. A figure which is also down on the maximum endorsed yields authorised by QDO Rioja, which allow for a harvest to reach around 405 million kilos.

Currently, one of the most exacting regulations of this appellation’s statues is the maximum yield limit, aimed at “guaranteeing optimum quality”. The present endorsed maximum yields are 6,500 kilos per hectare for red varieties, and 9,500 kilos per hectare for white varieties. These quantities are far below the norm of other wine regions around the world and oblige the Regulating Council to renounce the possibility given to it by the Rioja Statues, to authorise an increase of up to 25 percent more yield in years with favourable expectations. This voluntary ‘self-policing’ accepted by the Rioja wine sector via the Regulating Council’s representatives, is a good indication of the high level of the appellation’s self-exacting attitude when it comes to enforcing maximum yield limits in favour of wine quality.

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