Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Riojans celebrate monster harvest

Published:  23 July, 2008

By Tim Atkin

THE 2000 vintage in Rioja, which is taking place against a background of falling sales on domestic and international markets, seems certain to be one of the largest on record with an estimated 400 million kg of grapes harvested. After a small vintage of 250 million kg in 1999, when grape prices soared to 485psa, precipitating a crisis in the region, things are returning to normal in 2000. Average prices have dropped back to 140psa/kg, according to Vicente Cebrian of Marqus de Murrieta. The vintage has also seen a much greater spread of prices than last, emphasising the fact that Rioja is now a buyer's, rather than grower's market. "There are at least two different markets this year," said Jorge Muga of Bodegas Muga. "Last year the spread between bad and good grapes was 375-485psa, this year it's 70-285psa." The drop in grape prices should enable Rioja to claw back some of its lost sales. "We've been through a crisis," said Carlos Martinez Bujanda of Bodegas Martinez Bujanda, "but Rioja has a strong image and we'll get some of the sales back this year."