The Consejo Regulador de la Denominación de Origen Ribera del Duero 2017 harvest took place between 8th September and 20th October, producing a total of 55 million kilos of grapes, 98% of which are tempranillo variety. A total of 8,224 wine growers and 315 wineries participated in the harvest of 22,530 hectares registered in the Denominación de Origen, a year marked by the climate conditions and drought that affected all of Spain.
This year’s harvest produced an excellent quality grape with immaculate health, similar to the 2005 harvest. This fruit will lend itself to excellent aged wines. The 2017 harvest was marked by extreme climate conditions, which were present for most of the cycle. The most prominent weather episode was the frost on the night between April 27th and 28th, when a cold air mass moved into the Denominación de Origen territory. This saw temperatures drop below zero degrees for more than seven hours and negative peaks of up to -6ºC. The consequences of the frost were not the same throughout the Ribera del Duero region, depending on the vineyards’ location. The other weather characteristic that marked the 2017 DO harvest was the drought, as approximately 250 millimetres of rain fell during the cycle, when 450 are usually expected.
Good preparation, impeccable care and maintenance of the vineyard by the Ribera wine growers has been fundamental for preventing certain diseases and guaranteeing the favourable evolution of the grape ripening cycle.
In the words of Agustín Alonso, Consejo Regulador technical director: “Ribera del Duero is a very complex region due to its climate and conditions. It is important to highlight the professionals’ efforts to prevent and mitigate the effects of setbacks. In general, the grapes from the 2017 harvest have a high-quality tannin and a well-balanced taste, also resulting in a balanced acidity, despite the heat this year. They also present pH values that are usual for the area.”
The Consejo Regulador included 195 overseeing assistants who have performed grape controls in the field and wineries during this harvest period. All of whom were trained by the Technical Department to develop the tasks assigned to them. Among the contracted assistants, some took on the role of expert evaluators and controlled the performance on site and the amount of grapes per hectare, ensuring that the regulatory limits permitted were not exceeded. The remaining assistants exhaustively controlled the quantity and quality of the grapes that went to the wineries twenty-four hours a day during the harvest. They especially ensured that the fruit came from within the limits of the Ribera del Duero Denominación de Origen region.
As occurs every year, the entire process was computerised and data was continually updated so as to provide information on the exact stage of the harvest, how many kilos had been harvested and how many wineries were open.
About the Consejo Regulador de la Denominación de Origen Ribera del Duero
The Consejo Regulador de la Denominación de Origen Ribera del Duero is the body responsible for watching over the authenticity of wines from the region, ensuring that each and every bottle carrying their label complies to rigorous quality controls.
Nearly 300 wine cellars make up demarcation, located in the Duero river basin, and voted best wine-producing region in the world in 2012. The wines from the Ribera del Duero DO stand out for their high quality, limited production and commitment to innovation. The desire to excel, experience and creative attitude, along with the dedication, tradition and talent of their wine growers and makers, make Ribera del Duero wines unique. www.riberadelduero.es