Saturday, 6 July 2019

6.7.19 Drought and Low Temperatures Threaten Harves

The forthcoming harvest is looking as if it will be a small one and likely late as well. Preliminary figures from the Consejo Regulador confirm those presented a few days ago by the growers association Asaja which show a likely 30% drop in production assuming these conditions persist. Two factors are involved here: firstly, unlike much of Europe recently, temperatures have been lower than normal slowing the ripening of the grapes, and secondly a lack of rainfall is causing severe drought which reduces the size of the grapes. Last year´s harvest was 6.6% larger than 2017 with just just over 81 million kilos, which partly explains such a large drop, and it was later than normal.

Driving the vintage variations of course is global warming. The three hottest years in Andalucia since records began in 1888 were 2017, 2016 and 2015. Worse still, 17 of the hottest years recorded were in the 21st century, and it is not just heat causing problems. Other weather events are becoming more extreme and chaotic, swinging for example from severe drought to torrential rain.

The harvest will almost certainly be less abundant this year

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