The harvest season in Castilla-La Mancha will touch 20 million hectolitres
It will be 13% lower than last year’s collection.
Cooperatives Agro-alimentary Castilla-La Mancha forecasts a production of 19.5 million hectolitres in the wine year this year, 13% less than last year, which reached 22.1 million hectolitres.
In a statement, the organization has noted that this decline in the harvest has occurred due to high temperatures and lack of rainfall, as found by the Wine Sector Assembly, held this Thursday at the Regional Institute for Agrofood and Forestry Research and Development (Iriaf) in Tomelloso (Ciudad Real).
Agro-food cooperatives, which account for more than 75% of the region’s wine production and processing, have estimated harvest forecasts of between 19 and 19.5 million hectolitres of wine and must in Castilla-La Mancha and between 36 and 36.5 million in Spain.
«If we continue in climatic conditions similar to the current ones, with tropical nights and high daytime temperatures, we expect a harvest that could be even lower,» said the spokesman for Cooperatives, Juan Fuente.
Agro-food cooperatives has planned at national level between 36 and 36.5 million hectolitres for this harvest, which would mean a low campaign, compared to the last five years; with a reduction of between 3.5 and 4 million hectolitres compared to the previous year, 10% less.
Within the European framework, it estimated that the French wine year would be around the average, once the low harvest of the previous year had been exceeded by the spring frosts suffered to a greater or lesser extent by all the Gallic wine regions; and that Italy, despite the drought, it is highly predictable that it will maintain its production at constant levels.
All this, together with the decrease in production in Spain and Portugal, would constitute a production year very close to the 158.7 million hectolitres obtained the previous year in the European Union, 5 million less than the average of the last five years.
Despite these forecasts, there will be a great opportunity to lighten stocks and normalize availability for future campaigns, said Fuente, who considered that maintaining markets, increase margins and consolidate customers through differentiated and quality products, will be the key to attend this year’s international wine markets and obtain their recognition.
And it is that, Cooperatives stressed that the key in this campaign will be the production of quality wines with grapes of greater balance between sugar and acidity received, allocating to must the red and white grapes that do not complete their ripening or become unbalanced upon arrival at the winery.
That is why «the production of grape juice could be key this vintage, product that has worked very well during the pandemic, and that, due to the shortage of fruit in Europe by the spring frosts, the grape may have a unique opportunity to cover this gap», said the cooperative spokesman.
The wine stocks in Spain, as of 31 July, could be around 36 million hectolitres, of which Castilla-La Mancha would contribute around 10 million, in addition to 1.20 million hectolitres of must in the region.
These stocks, according to Fuente, «represent a good functioning of the outlets, especially in Castilla-La Mancha, from where an important effort has been made to lighten stocks, both in export and in the domestic market, taking out more than 24 million hectometres of wine and must in the year 2021-22», about 2 million hectolitres a month.