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Control board confirms bumper Rioja harvest

Published:  22 November, 2016

The 2016 Rioja harvest has proved exceptional in both quantity and quality, the DOCa Rioja has confirmed.

A provisional total of 442.4 million kilograms of approved grapes were harvested, which have been made into 318.5 million litres of DO-certified wine.

Grape production in the region covered 62,641ha, up 759 on 2015, with particular growth among plantings of white varietals which covered some 4,625ha this year, 620 more than 2015.

Growth in the vineyards was steady throughout the cycle this year, and the harvest began in a timely fashion on 29 August.

Only 45 million kilograms of grapes were picked in the first four weeks of harvest, with less than half of Rioja's wineries yet in operation.

The weather was dry and sunny through to late October. Mild rain in late September and early October proved beneficial in maintaining the grapes in perfect condition.

The harvest reached its peak around the second week in October and ended in the first week of November.