Rioja reports earliest harvest ever


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From the drinks business: Rioja has recorded its earliest ever harvest this year, according to the control board for the region.

As well as being the earliest on record, the 2015 harvest in Rioja produced “good quantity and great quality”, the Consejo Regulador Denominación de Origen Calificada Rioja said.

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A total of 441.18m kg of grapes were picked in 2015, of which 426.70m kg were approved after discarding excess production. These were used to make 300 million litres of DO-protected wine.

The total grape production area in Rioja in 2015 was 61,870ha – 334 more than in 2014. Of these, 57,861ha were planted with red grape varieties and produced 392.98m kg of grapes, while 4,009ha with white grape varieties yielded 33.72m kg.

This is marginally higher than last year’s, but less than the maximum yield-per-hectare – 6,955 kg/ha for red grapes and 9,360 kg/ha for white – authorised for 2015.

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The board will now begin laboratory tests and tastings of the new wine produced from the 2015 in order to produce vintage ratings.