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In some wine-growing regions of Spain, the winegrowers have harvested their grapes earlier than ever before. In Catalonia and in Jerez, the grape harvest has been going on since the end of July - the start was about two weeks earlier than usual. As many vines are suffering from the extreme temperatures and the ongoing drought, producers are trying to save what can be saved.

The Caserío de Dueñas winery in the DO Rueda belongs to Entrecanales Domecq e Hijos, one of the largest Spanish wine companies. Here, the harvest of Sauvignon Blanc grapes began in mid-August. Almudena Alberca MW, viticulture director at Entrecanales Domecq e Hijos, experienced "the earliest harvest in the 300-year history of Caserío de Dueñas". "It was a summer of constant heat across Europe, with high daytime and night-time temperatures and very little rainfall," says Alberca. The climate was unstable - and especially the many forest fires near the vineyards were dangerous. In the wineries Bodegas Cosme Palacio in the DO Rioja and Bodegas Viña Mayor in the DO Ribera del Duero, the ripening cycle is also completed much earlier than usual. Only ten percent are missing, and then the grapes are ready for harvesting. Almudena Alberca expects the grape harvest to be completed by mid-September.

The expert pointed out that Spanish producers are increasingly struggling with weather extremes. "In the past ten years we have experienced very different conditions in our vineyards, from heavy snowfalls and a cool spring in 2021 to this year's drought and heat. This makes it very difficult to adapt, but we know that strong, healthy vines are the most resilient to temperature changes." He said the development highlights the importance of sustainability strategies for winegrowers if they are to make their vineyards fit for climate change.

(ru / Source: Harpers Co.UK; Photo: 123rf.com)