While Montilla-Moriles, in Córdoba, is rushing for the imminent start of the harvest of the Pedro Ximénez grape, with not very encouraging forecasts due to the effects of drought and high temperatures, in Jerez the situation seems to be more promising, with grapes in different stages of maturation.
The situation in Montilla-Moriles
The vineyards in Montilla-Moriles face significant challenges this year. The anticipated harvest of the Pedro Ximénez grape is scheduled to begin in approximately one week. However, weather conditions have influenced a forecast reduction of 30% compared to the previous season. Drought and high temperatures have been the main causes of this situation.
Jerez: a different perspective
On the other hand, within the framework of Jerez, the grape continues its maturation process. Despite the rigors of the climate, the vineyards in this region appear to be more resilient this year. Both independent winemakers and cooperatives project that the general harvest of sherry, specifically of the palomino grape, will begin in the most advanced inland estates during the second week of August. Salvador Espinosa, president of Covijerez, suggests the possibility of making the ‘tub feet’ between August 4 and 5, that is, a prior collection of riper grapes that help start fermentation. In this way, the harvest would properly begin on Monday, August 7.
The first analyzes carried out in nine vineyards associated with the Jerez cooperative show an average of 8.73 degrees baumé, which is a measure of the sugar concentration of the grape, which determines its alcoholic potential. It is relevant to point out that, for a grape to be classified in the denominations of origin of Jerez, it must exceed 10.5º baumé. Producers seek the highest possible concentration to minimize additional costs in the production of Jerez wines.
Francisco Guerrero, president of Asevi-Asaja, indicated that they still do not have concrete samples. However, he considers it unlikely that the grape harvest from his associates will start before mid-August. One of the reasons is the coexistence of ripe and green grapes in the same vineyards.
Climate resistance in Jerez
Unlike Montilla-Moriles, the Jerez vineyards show greater resistance to drought and heat, thanks to the rainfall last autumn-winter and the influence of the west and proximity to the sea, factors that favor the development of the vine.
In this context, producers are patient. In fact, from the Wine Regulatory Council, both the head of vineyards and the president are currently on vacation. The harvest is expected to begin in mid-August, in line with the prevailing dates in recent years. It is important to remember that, in earlier times, the harvest used to start at the end of August or beginning of September.