The high temperatures of recent weeks and particularly in the first fortnight of July, which saw one heatwave after the other following that which engulfed the whole country at the end of June do not seem to have adversely affected the vineyards. The only noticeable effect in the inland vineyards is the advanced state of maturity since the nights have been warm too and the grapes fatten, while in the cooler coastal vineyards things are much the same as normal.
The growers nevertheless are hoping for a bit more Levante wind between now and harvest which would bring dryness and balance the development of the grapes. Without this, the growers expect the harvest to be a week earlier than last year. According to growers’ president, Francisco Guerrero, the harvest could be generally under way in the middle of August. Last year it was underway in the first fortnight, but traditionally most of it takes place in September.
|Harvesting in 2014 (foto:diariodejerez)|
The Consejo still lacks enough information to announce a possible start date but they expect to begin surveying the vineyards shortly to gather information to be presented at the next meeting scheduled for the end of this month. The Consejo director, César Saldaña noted that the accelerated maturation of the grapes has been balanced by dewfall during the nights.
The growers and the Consejo are still forecasting a very similar harvest to that of last year which brought in 65 million kilos giving an average yield of 10,000 kilos per hectare. Last year was 20% short of the exceptional 2013, but 2014 and the predicted harvest for 2015 are within the norm. Although it will be a fairly small harvest, the Consejo is happy that there will be enough mosto to replace stocks. Curiously, this year the budding of the vines was a little late due to lower than usual rainfall, but it caught up again and the harvest will be early. Such dry periods can lead to insect problems, but the grapes are healthy thanks to effective treatment against the green mosquito and the bunch moth.