The first cluster cuts were carried out in several areas of our country before the official end, on 31 July, of the 2021/22 wine campaign and gave way to the new marketing year 2022/23, which began on Monday 1 August and is expected to be no less complicated than the previous ones.
In the Canary Islands, in Montilla-Moriles, in Malaga, in the Marco de Jerez, in the Penedés or in Costers del Segre began to harvest already in the earliest varieties a few days before the end of a very hot July the first grapes of the new early harvest, which has arrived 15-20 days earlier than usual, due to too mild weather, with a dry autumn, too warm winter, a spring that was only rainy and less bad in March and April, but which was very dry in May and June, with some waves of excess heat, and a month of July, already entered in summer, which has followed the adverse trend of the previous months.
Faced with a quality that is expected to certainly have of the grapes (we will have to see with what graduation), given the absence in this dry year of fungal diseases (mildew, oidium, botrytis or brown rot), caused by the fungus Fusarium, concerns the final decrease in productive yields (between 20-30%, according to various sources) and even in some cases the low acidity that some wines may have.
Undoubtedly, all this early harvest, where never before had begun to harvest in the second half of July, would be caused by the much vaunted «climate change» that still many resist to take into consideration, but that year after year is already proving to be an increasingly palpable reality.
For example, in the Marco de Jerez, the harvest had never started before August 4, and this time it was brought forward to the last week of July, in which it was announced the opening of the first presses for the reception of the same. Far from the beginning of yesteryear, when the harvest did not begin until September.
Meanwhile, the winery Raimat (D.O.P. Costers del Segre, Lleida) also began on Friday 29 July the earliest harvest in its history, although it was traditionally one of the first wineries to start the harvest, one week ahead of previous campaigns.
For its technical director, Joan Esteve, «despite the heat waves of this summer and the drought, the harvest started with optimism both in quality and quantity of grapes (similar to the previous year, with 6.5 million kilos, 100% organic), with a forecast of obtaining a harvest of very good quality, very healthy by the scarcity of rain and very balanced. «It has been more affected than the average temperature, added Esteve, the heat waves, mainly that which occurred in June, being equally remarkable the drought both in winter, and in spring.»
For its part, the organization Asaja Ciudad Real issued on July 27 a statement in which it pointed out that the effects of high daytime and night temperatures are already visible in the rain-fed vineyard and also in the irrigated, where water stress is triggered because evapotranspiration is higher than the water absorbed by the plant.
This organization has also observed direct burns in the berries, which would increase the level of decline in the harvest, because it is indicative that the leaves no longer protect the grapes and, consequently, will also determine the coming season.
The excess temperature also advances maturation, adds Asaja Ciudad Real, so it is expected that the harvest will generalize at the end of August or early September and recognizes that heat, Despite slowing the spread of diseases that affect the quality of grapes, such as powdery mildew, it is causing some hotspots of red spider very localized.