2019 Organic Harvest Report – Europe
The organic harvest in Europe is nearly complete, and our winery partners are reporting a great vintage ahead!
It was a rainy and cool spring, which made it difficult for the vines to flower, causing a “dripping” (loss of grapes) on the red. We experienced a hot and dry month of July, and a fresh & humid month of August. The vines suffered from this hot weather, but they are resilient. The difference this year is that the merlots arrived at maturity quickly and the window to harvest at the optimum maturity is very small between the whites and the reds.
The end of the season and beginning of the harvest is quite dry, but with the change in climate that is something that will be become the norm. The vines have adapted and the resulting wines will be of great quality.
The unique characteristics of the 2019 vintage include that the raisins are very fruity. The acidity is quite low on some plots of Merlot were vinified into rosé. With the temperatures quite high, it is a hot vintage! There is a great potential to realize great cuvées of all three colors.
The white grape varieties Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and the pink skinned Sauvignon Gris were harvested September 12-20. For the red grape varieties Cabernet Sauvignon and Agiorgitiko the harvest took place from October 1-5. Lastly for the grey skinned Moschofilero the harvest took place from October 5-15. Generally, the harvest was 8 to 10 days later than in an average year.
Difficult weather conditions with rain and snow occurred during winter, a mild spring followed From early July up to mid-October there was adequate sun and medium temperatures which gave a late growing season and late ripening conditions. It was really surprising that we had ideal weather conditions especially during harvest. It has been for more than a decade to have such a beautiful weather.
This will probably be one of the best vintages of the last 15 years. The ideal weather conditions offered quality grapes and good ripening conditions, which has resulted in an excellent phenolic ripeness for the red wines. The 2019 white wines will display fine pure primary aromas, and great balance between acidity and alcohol.
We did half of our harvest manually, which is a record regarding our volume. This had an impact in managing all the people involved and loads of logistics, but the quality of the end product results much better this way. We even harvested with boxes one day, in order to produce our carbonic maceration wine.
This harvest had a very low production compared to a regular year, thus the alcoholic degree of this year’s wines is very high, grapes were very ripe with higher polyphenols. Grapes were very healthy as well, which is a key factor for producing quality wines, especially aging wines like Crianza and our no sulfites added wines. This is a special year in our history with the highest alcoholic degree and all the benefits that come with it.
The 2019 harvest was a little bit later than in 2018 but still earlier than normal. The year started really early, but then slowed down in May due to heavy rain and cold weather, after that it was pretty much back to usual. Harvest started August 22nd. It was another dry year but much better than in 2018, a few strong rain days at the end of August helped to keep the vines continuing into maturity.
It is a warm vintage, but with much lower PH than 2018, so a bit more vital and energetic wines, great acidity, though good ripeness too. All in all a fantastic vintage.