Castilla-La Mancha forecasts an unprecedented early harvest in 2023

The 2022/23 wine marketing campaign is coming to an end and the cooperatives of Castilla-La Mancha are already beginning to prepare for the upcoming 2023 harvest. This next harvest season is characterized by presenting an unparalleled advance, mainly due to the early start of bud break of the vine, accompanied by extremely dry and hot weather during the month of April and much of May.

This unprecedented advance is also attributed to the occurrence of almost general rainy episodes in all wine-growing areas of the region after the hot period. Despite the fact that the rainfall, ranging between 100 and 120 liters per square meter, has improved the external appearance of the vineyard, these climatic events coincided with the setting of a large number of early varieties, especially the red ones. This, without a doubt, will have consequences on the final production, as reported by Cooperativas Agroalimentarias in a press release.

On the other hand, it is expected that the later varieties, such as the Airén variety, which with more than 192,000 hectares (representing 43% of the regional wine-producing area), and because it is the most resistant and best adapted to the Manchego ecosystem, can improve the expectations that were initially held at the beginning of the vegetative development of the vine.

The wine sector of Cooperativas Agro-alimentarias Castilla-La Mancha expects that the stocks of wine and must in the region for July 31 will be practically the same as the previous year. However, it is expected that there will be less wine than must, with a difference of around half a million hectoliters between both types of products, which may lead to a more optimistic start to the next 2023/24 marketing campaign.

The cooperative wine spokesman, Juan Fuente, affirms that the decrease in the harvest in the southern hemisphere confirms a reduction in maritime transport costs, thus benefiting product exports. However, he also highlights the persistent slowdown in world consumption due to factors such as the war in Ukraine, the still non-recovery of Chinese imports and, with the exception of North America, the stagnant economy of other countries.

In addition, Fuente points to the decrease in domestic consumption in European producing countries and the sharp drop in the main export markets, as a result of inflation and high production costs, as the main factors affecting the current global wine market.

Fuente adds: “The maintenance of moderate productions, below the average of the last five years, both in Spain and in Castilla-La Mancha, are partly mitigating the imbalance between available supply and demand, especially in wines red”. However, some Spanish regions, such as Extremadura and Catalonia, and even La Rioja and the Basque Country, have had to take exceptional measures to correct the surplus stored by distillation in times of crisis.

Finally, the members of the sector, meeting today in Alcázar de San Juan, insist on the need to be cautious and wait patiently for the current harvest to settle, the first estimate of which will be made public next Friday, July 28 at the IRIAF- Tomelloso, during the celebration of the traditional Sectoral Assembly of Wines of Cooperativas Agro-alimentarias Castilla-La Mancha. The cooperatives and agrarian wine processing societies of the region associated with the regional cooperative entity will be summoned to this meeting.

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