High temperatures (It was 40C in the shade in Jerez the other day!) are ripening the grapes quickly. All the 20 press houses are working hard and more than half the harvest has been crushed, over 42 million kilos. The expected yield this year is about 65 million kilos, a drop from last year’s 82 million, but last year had higher rainfall and was “abnormally abundant” in the words of the Consejo director, Cesar Saldaña, while this year is seen as about normal.
|A harvesting machine in action (foto Voz Digital)|
He says that the grapes’ sugar content is easily 10.5 Beaume, with Chipiona at an average of 11.97 and Jerez with 11.81. The coastal vineyards are a bit further behind but are still at well over 11 degrees. This suits the bodegas as they need less fortifying spirit. This year’s crop is one of the more advanced for many years, but the grapes are in a good state of health. Some bodegas, those with more inland vineyards, have actually finished harvesting, such as Gonzalez Byass, who were first to begin harvesting.