Last week, the Regulatory Commission of the D.O.C. Rioja premium appellation (D.O.C. Rioja) carried out its fourth monitoring of grape ripeness: the grapes showed a significant increase in alcohol ripeness, with an average increase of 0.7% to 1.3%, along with a decrease in acidity and a slight increase in pH.
Image courtesy of: Penin Guide Spain
In high yielding vineyards, a slow ripening process is important because slowing down the ripening process is more conducive to polyphenol maturation (which affects the aroma, color and tannins of the wine). Currently, according to the Regulatory Board, fruiting rates are stable and yields are higher than in the previous harvest. The ripeness data and the proof of grapes entering the winery show that this year"s early harvest yielded 10 million kilograms more compared to the same period last year. In the coming weeks, the Regulatory Commission will expand its ripeness monitoring, which is expected to cover the entire appellation, an effort that will help winegrowers better determine the ideal harvest date and thus improve the quality of their wines.
Pablo Franco, head of the Regulatory Commission's monitoring body, noted that the health and nutritional status of the vineyards was good throughout the 2019/2020 vintage. In Franco's words: the year was characterized by a stable development of the vineyards and local climatic changes that did not have a significant impact.