The rain in May followed by hot sunshine has provided the perfect conditions for mildew and it is a very serious outbreak. Some small vineyards have completely succumbed, especially coastal ones where there is more humidity, and some fear losses of 50-70% around Sanlúcar, 30-60% around Trebujena and 50% around Chipiona. Worse still, it is spreading towards vineyards further inland where 15-30% of vineyard is affected. Those who don’t have crop insurance are being encouraged to contract it.
|A flooded vineyard (foto:miguelangelgonzalez/diario jerez)|
According to Francisco Guerrero, president of the independent growers, one factor is the lack of treatment or insufficient treatment of the vines due to a lack of financial resources resulting from the difficulties of the cooperatives to whom they sell their grapes. “In a dry year people can get away with the minimum of treatment and the heavy rains took them by surprise. “ Once the mildew has spread it is more difficult to treat, and its effects could reduce next year’s harvest as well. He feels, however, that it is still too early to predict harvest losses accurately. Vines are not the only plants affected; mildew also attacks tomatoes, potatoes and onions, also important industries.
|Mildew in all its ugliness (foto:lavozdigital)|
The Fiesta de la Vendimia with its famous treading of the grapes on the Cathedral steps will take place on 6th September, two days earlier than last year. From the 8th till the 10th there will be a great Sherry tasting “De Copa en Copa” hosted by bodegas at the Claustros de Santo Domingo at which there will also be tapas. Another top event, the Catas Magistrales will take place on the 8,9,10 and the 15,16,17 September. Each event will be hosted by a bodega and there will be food matching with the Sherry.