Farmers in the Madrid wine sector have advanced the harvest at the end of August and early September due to high temperatures and drought, and have warned of the danger of next year’s crops.
«We work the real albillo (a type of grape), which is a very chaste variety, also early. Before it was collected in the third week of August but this year we have started to catch it today», said this Saturday to Europa Press the winegrower Isabel Galindo, of the municipality of San Martín de Valdeiglesias.
Galindo has stated that the plant that gives the grape is now «very stressed» because of the climate and heat waves because it is registering a summer «that has eaten the spring». This situation has meant the advance of the vineyard cycle and, therefore, its collection.
He also stressed that the advance of the harvest «is not what worries the most» but the plant because it still has «a long journey» until the end of the cycle and that will cause, according to him, that endangers «much more» next year’s harvest.
LOSS OF HARVEST KILOS FOR FARMERS AND WINEMAKERS
Andrés Pérez, from Asaja Madrid, said that it is not yet confirmed but that «this advance is rumored» and that the main reasons are the temperature and the current drought.
For Pérez, the grape ripens early and the harvest is mainly a problem for the plant «because it does not carry a normal cycle», which will affect the harvest next year.
Harvesting the crop early will make it smaller «because it has not gained weight» and a loss of kilos, even if the quality is not reduced. » Kilos will be lost for farmers and winemakers,» he said. And he warned that the olive grove will surely be brought forward due to the drought, because it does not have enough water.
90% less olive production
One of the winegrowers of the Comarca of Navalcarnero, Federico Benítez, has said that in addition to the problem with the vineyard, the constant high temperature and heat shocks have ended «90 percent of olive production». It is because the olive in July does the flowering and needs an average temperature, a situation that has not occurred this summer.
To this problem is added the advance of the harvest, where Benitez has recognized that he will also have to collect the grapes before, instead of mid-September. This will mean that «a lot of weight» will be lost from the product.
«Having no juice, because this medium ripened, what it needs is moisture and has not rained. This will involve losses by taking fewer kilos because the grapes will be smaller and we will receive less money,» he lamented.
Like his fellow winegrowers, his main concern is the plant facing the coming harvest. » The plant is going to resist a lot and will not produce. Let’s hope that the winter comes rainy because as it comes dry… To the eye it is losing the leaf, it is affecting much stress to the plant,» he stressed.
THE SIZE OF A CHICKPEA TO THAT OF A PEA
As Benitez details, the grape will shrink many kilos and, instead of having the size of «a Castilian chickpea», this year will remain «like a pea», which will negatively affect the production of wine.
To these problems is added that of rabbits, which eat the plants of the grape and makes them lose much of the harvest. » I had to wire up because there is an impressive reserve of these animals,» he concluded.