DO Rías Baixas
The growing season was far more typical in Rías Baixas this year featuring more rain and moderate summer temperatures. As rain continued into May, together with low temperatures, there were fears that volumes would be down. Conditions were more challenging in the smaller sub-regions of O Condado do Tea where growers battled with mildew and O Rosal where some of the crop was lost due to poor weather during flowering.
Thanks to settled sunny and dry weather with moderate temperatures over August and September the key ripening period was very positive and grape quality was generally very good as the harvest started in early September.
Emilio Rodríguez, technical director for Terras Gauda in O Condado, is very pleased with the harvest this year. He said: “We got a good number of sun hours and good temperatures through to mid-September which gave us the right balance in the grapes. The aromas are better this year – in 2016 and 2017 we lost some [of Albariño’s] typical aromas. We’ve got a more typical profile for the variety this year.”
Volumes were higher than expected in the main Val do Salnés sub-region of the DO with the overall figure for the entire region slightly below last year’s total.
2018: 38.6 million kg
There was a record harvest for Monterrei this year and it was also unusually long starting on September 15th and lasting well into October. Spring rains and cooler than average temperatures in May, June and July slowed the development of vines leading to a later harvest but dry, favourable weather allowed growers to bring in the region’s wide selection of grapes at optimum ripeness. There are high hopes for “excellent quality” for Godello white wines along with Treixadura, Doña Branca and Loureira and reds produced mainly from Mencía.
2018: 5.6 million kg (white: 3.69 million kg; red: 1.9 million kg)
DO Ribeira Sacra
For Galicia’s leading red wine DO – Ribeira Sacra – fine weather during the harvest compensated for some challenging weather during the growing period including mildew and some incidences of hail.
As in neighbouring regions the harvest started in mid-September allowing growers to benefit from cool night-time temperatures and achieve good acidity levels in both red and white grape varieties. For the first time, some night-time harvesting took place in Ribeira Sacra this year. There was general satisfaction as the harvest drew to a close after 39 days.
2018: 6.2 million kg (Mencía: 5.2 million kgs)
After very testing weather in 2017, there was great relief in Valdeorras as more generous volumes came in at harvest time and excellent fruit quality.
Slightly higher acidity levels and optimum ripeness bode well for “very good” Godello wines from this vintage, according to the region’s harvest report. Meanwhile prospects also look good for red wines made from Mencía, both young wines and barrel-aged thanks to the variety ripening particularly well.
2018: 4.7 million kg, 15% up on last year
Ribeiro’s vineyards were badly affected by mildew, which reduced volumes this year, but producers were satisfied with fruit quality thanks to favourable weather towards the end of the growing season and harvest with careful selection being particularly important this year.
Total: 9 million kg (8.3 kg white; 785,000 red) provisional figures