Friday, 9 September 2016

9.9.16 Latest on Harvest

With most of the grapes now harvested, a clearer picture of the harvest result is emerging. We have read of the disasters which have befallen some of the French vineyards this year with frost, hail and even fire, but the Marco de Jerez rarely encounters too many problems. This year, however, the weather has been more capricious than usual and the DO yield looks like being 20% down on last year. It began with a very dry spring followed by torrential rain causing the spread of mildew. The hot dry Levante has blown almost endlessly through July and August, and with almost record temperatures much water has evaporated from the grapes.

5 million kilos have already been picked and the Consejo is estimating that the total will amount to 55 million, far from last year’s crop of 76.4 million, and mainly thanks to a hotter and drier than average year. There are two sides to this however; the advantage is that there has been little trouble with insects, allowing very healthy grapes, but the disadvantage is that the Levante and the lack of overnight dewfall have left the grapes somewhat dehydrated. Still, the wind put a swift end to the mildew problem. The drop in production has been very unequal, with almost normal production in some places and large losses in others. Trebujena saw the largest drop.

It is not all bad news for the trade. Excess stocks of mosto at the cooperatives will be used up to balance this year’s shortage and that reduction in stocks will stimulate an increase in the value of Sherry and therefore its price, which will be necessary since the growers had already signed grape supply contracts with the bodegas before the harvest when the forecast was for higher production.

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