Drought forces earliest grape harvest in continental Europe to be even earlier

THE harvest season in Montilla-Moriles, Cordoba, is one of the first to commence in the whole of Europe and this year it will start even earlier than normal.

In fact, according to the agrarian Association young farmers of Córdoba (Asaja-Córdoba) the start of the grape harvest in the Montilla-Moriles area, the first in continental Europe, will be ‘brought forward by approximately two weeks compared to last year’, all as a result of the high temperatures that have been recorded in the southern countryside in recent weeks.

According to the agricultural organisation, the first grapes harvested will be the early white varieties such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Verdejo and Moscatel, which will produce the first musts for making young wines, followed by the native Pedro Ximenez.

The president of Asaja Cordoba’s Vine Sector, Juan Manuel Centella, has said that this year is ‘a worrying harvest’ because “it is unknown how the drought and the weather will really affect production.”

However, though the forecast production will be lower than last year, which in itself was the lowest grape harvest in history in the DOP Montilla-Moriles with a 45% decrease compared to a normal year due to the drought and high temperatures, the actual quality of the grapes will be ‘very good due to the lack of rain,’ Centella added.


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