– and even when the weather forecast for next week predicts temperatures to rise again, but no serious setbacks are foreseen and more importantly, there have not been frequent easterly winds (the feared “levante”) which are grape-reducing enemy #1. And if the “levante” blows intensely for long periods of time, the fruit ripens earlier and moves up the grape harvesting season. Currently, it is estimated that the harvesting campaign will start around 20 August.
Vineyard owners and the Council estimate grape production (mainly Palomino) to vary between 67 and 70 million kilos, similar to last season´s volume but not reaching the 2013 record harvest (a year with more rainfall). Constant numbers are also due to the fact that ever since industry restructuring plans were implemented, the surface area of planted vines is strictly limited to accompany sales volumes, including the occasional uprooting of vines.
Vineyard owners from Sanlúcar consulted by the media have indicated that the current grape quality is good but, just as their counterparts from Jerez have noted, they are keeping fingers crossed nonetheless, in the hope that the whims of Nature don´t dash their good expectations.
The Consejo Regulador remains optimistic that, although the harvest will be somewhat lower than 2013, current estimates indicate it would be enough to guarantee the rotation of Sherry Wines in the ageing process in which older wine is refreshed with younger wine, thus ensuring the maintenance of stability and quality. Last year´s grape harvest was also marked by an usually early start in grape harvesting, initiated in the first week of August, truly an exception to the rule in the Jerez Region.
23 July 2015