Rioja vintage hailed 'best in recent years'

Chris Losh

Chris Losh

30 November 2016

It might have been hard work for Rioja's winemakers, but one of the longest harvest seasons on record is being hailed by the region's growers as one of the best.

Picking began around the second week of September, and carried on for almost six weeks, finally finishing in the higher, cooler vineyards of Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa at the end of October.

'It's a remarkable vintage,' said Rodolfo Bastida, winemaker at Ramon Bilbao. 'The grapes have been able to mature completely.

'In general terms, this can be confirmed as one of the best vintages in recent years, with perfect maturity and balance. We will get fruity, complex and structured wines perfect for long ageing.'

With no problems of spring frost or summer hail, yields are good, too, with a total crush of 442m kg of grapes. This has made 318m litres of wine – the equivalent of 35m 12-bottle cases.

Around 10% of the production was white.

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