The excellent quality of the grapes made up for the 23% reduction in the harvest.
The 2017 harvest was one of the earliest in the history of D.O. Rueda. It started on 16th August with the Sauvignon Blanc grapes – a variety whose growth cycle is shorter than most. In recent years this grape variety has been exposed to excellent environmental conditions, in particular the significant contrast in temperature between day and night which helps maintain the quality of the grape.
However, this year we collected 108,812,763 kilograms of grapes in D.O. Rueda, 23% less compared to 2016. The two reasons for this decline were the frost we saw at the end of May and the severe drought of the summer months.
Of the 83,420,637 kilos of grapes collected, 98.9% were native white grapes, of which Verdejo made up the majority totalling 71,057,770 kilos.
The total area harvested this year measured 14.685,07 hectares, an increase of 1.167,57 hectares compared to the previous year. 96% of the total area (14.097,67 hectares) was made up of vineyards growing white grapes and 87.3% of these (12.307,16 hectares) were growing Verdejo, highlighting the great interest in our native grape variety.
This year D.O. Rueda worked with a total of 1,491 winegrowers and 69 wineries.
Santiago Mora, Director General of D.O. Rueda commented: “It is important to highlight two key factors regarding this Rueda vintage, namely mechanisation and night time harvesting. Mechanisation allows us to pick the grapes at their optimum level of maturity and to accelerate the picking processes, so that the grapes undergo as little stress as possible. By harvesting the grapes at night we are able to keep the organoleptic qualities of the grapes in tact thereby avoiding oxidation of the grapes. Harvesting at this time also offers energy saving advantages since the grapes enter the cellars at a lower temperature than had they been picked during the day, meaning that less energy is needed to cool the grape as it enters the warehouse.”
Due to the perfect conditions in which the grapes were harvested, their excellent condition and their high quality level, we expect to produce well-balanced and high quality wines with this 2017 harvest. We look forward to seeing them in the marketing in a few months time.