The grape harvest has arrived earlier this year. Because of reasons that are not very clear, the producers registered a decrease that ranges between 15 % and 20 % of their crop. Yet, the fall in the volumes has not strengthened the prices. Meanwhile, everybody coincides that the quality of the grapes is excellent.
The intense summer temperatures moved forward the crop between 10 and 15 days. Meanwhile, the producers - especially in the East zone, but also in LujÃ¡n and Uco Valley - speak of important decreases in their yield.
â€œThe vineyards located in Tupungato have suffered higher temperatures than average and it was completely dryâ€ explains the agronomist Diego Ortiz from Agricola Masi.
"We can see that most of the balanced vineyards are achieving a ripeness that, although it is rapid, is equal. Those vineyards lacking balance will have more sugar, and a slightly minor acidity ", says Ortiz.
The intensive ripeness can also give a difference between the sugar content and the phenolic ripeness (tannins). This unevenness in the wine is evident in the roughness in mouth, but it is possible to improve it with malolactic fermentation or oak aging.
In Tupungato, it was a really good year for Bonarda, and an excellent year for Cabernet Sauvignon, long cycle varietals that take longer to reach a good ripeness in the region.
The agronomist Marcelo Casazza â€“ vineyard adviser in different zones - says "This year there is good acidity, itâ€™s lacking a little of ripeness in seed, but there is a good forecast. We might compare this crop with that of 2006. I have observed similar characteristics in Cafayate and in San Juan. In the Zonda valley we were harvesting Malbec at the end of January, and also it happened in NeuquÃ©n. All the mountain range valleys have had dry and warm days ".
Likewise, in LujÃ¡n de Cuyo the crop was anticipated but only four days "because the last days of February were quite cool ", pointed out the winemaker Mauricio Lorca who runs a vineyard in Las Compuertas. He said that the quality of grapes is very good." We have had an excellent seed compared to other years by this time, there is a great color concentration; I believe that we are going to reach 14 % alcohol as we always do. We have been managing the ripeness with water, watering a bit more often. If the climatic conditions persist, we will have a memorable harvestâ€.
Source: Area del Vino / Gabriela Malizia