After a record year in terms of production and quality, the harvest goes back to normality with a 15% reduction in production but with an excellent fruit quality.
The D.O. Valdeorras appellation will be the first to start the 2012 vintage, being expected this to begin over next weekend.
According to one of the technicians of the Regulatory Council of the D.O. Valdeorras appellation, Santiago Pérez, "despite the fact that the germination occurs first on the coast because of the temperatures and the type of vine, it is common that Valdeorras collects the fruit in advanced since the ripening is favored in this area due to its continental climate, with a greater number of sunshine hours in the summer and heat peaks higher”.
Not much later, with the starting of the second fortnight, Rias Baixas and Ribeira Sacra appellations will begin with their harvests, while Monterrei will start between the 15th and 20th. Ribeiro will postpone the picking until the 25th or so.
Although harvest dates are postponed comparing with the previous year, Santiago Pérez states that "this year is within the normality”, especially if we have a look to the average of the last decade. The slight delay from last year is due to the fact that temperatures of spring, when it begins the active cycle of the plant, were lower than usual, especially at night.
In this regard, the plant slowed its biological processes, a fact that is considered good for the quality of the grapes since these ripen slowly and can improve its quality rapidly.
Another key factor for the harvest is the autumn rains, as the weather plays an important role when the picking season arrives.
The forecast for the days coming indicates the arrival of an anticyclone with easterly winds. This means that the weather will be warm and free of humidity, a fact that would be very beneficial in all aspects, since it is at this time when the grape quality is determined, depending on the concentration of sugars, acidity reduction and other factors.
In this way, technician of the D.O. Valdeorras appellation, Santiago Pérez, notes that "the level of alcohol is already being reached in this appellation".
As for the amount collected, according to data from Valdeorras on Europa press, a decline of 15% in production is expected this year, which means that about 6.5 million kilograms of grapes would be picked during the season.
The largest drop within the Galician appellations is the one intended by the Regulatory Council of the Rias Baixas, which estimates that the reduction will be "nearly of the 50 percent" with respect to the previous one.
Also Ribeiro appellation estimates that its production will be "lower" than last year, with a decline of 37%.
The expectations for the Ribeira Sacra are similar, warning that there will be a decrease of 30%.
Meanwhile, Monterrei expects a setback of 10%, which would mean a harvest of about 2 million Kilograms.