At Penedès, drought was the main feature of the entire 2021 growing season, with the exception of September, when rainfall was almost daily. From January to August, 135 l/m2 fell, and 139 l/m2 fell in September alone.
We finished the 2020 vintage exhausted from the effects of so much rain during the 2020 cycle. We were so scared to experience another spring so abundant in water, that at the beginning of 2021 it was like a superstitious feeling if it rained. But the weeks went by and the water did not come. From January to August, we had an accumulated rainfall of 135 litres/m2, compared to 470 litres/m2 in the same period last year.
In the highest vineyards, at 600 metres, we had two small snowfalls in January and March, which delayed the winter pruning in some plots, postponing the weeding of the vines until the beginning of April. These two snowfalls provided a very important reserve of water for the vines, as they managed to mitigate the effects of the drought in the higher vineyards.
In general, the first buds came a little early and flowering and fruit set were very good. Despite this, production has been affected by the lack of water in the lower areas. We had to remove the plant cover in the lower areas where the drought was extreme.
Spring and summer temperatures have been normal for the season, although summer has come late and a few summer storms in July have helped to cool the nights. In July and August we had a couple of heat waves that made the grapes ripen.
Weather during the harvest
The harvest began in the first fortnight of August with the non-indigenous varieties, such as chardonnay and at the end of August we started with the typical cava varieties, macabeo and xarel.lo. We define it as a harvest of contrasts as we started it with a strong heat wave and ended it with daily rain. The high temperatures put us all in stress mode, plants included, as ripening was going too fast and we could not see how we could harvest all the early varieties at the same time. In the winery a funnel formed while the vines were waiting to be harvested. Even the plant was stopped by so much water stress.
From 30 August onwards, everything changed. Small afternoon showers began to help cool the air and the plants and also gave respite to the accelerated ripening. Tempers began to calm down and we returned to the normal rhythm of the harvest.
The days went by and it rained almost every day, even summer storms of 50 litres in half an hour that flooded fields, village streets and flooded the vineyards that were being harvested, making it almost impossible for the tractor to leave the vineyard.
In the vineyards that still had vegetation cover burnt by the heat, it was easier to access, and in a few days these covers were full of life again, green and with grass up to 2 hands high.
So, we arrived at the end of September, with daily rain and typically early autumn temperatures.
The aromatic quality and acidity balance in the first part of the harvest was excellent. In the second part, the rain forced us to make difficult decisions, especially because of the difficult access to vineyards that were not very accessible.
However, we are happy with the results and although the drought has reduced production, it has not been as drastic as expected.
We have been able to carry out all the hand harvest, and all the vinification that was on the roadmap for the year.
As always, you will be able to enjoy some exciting new wines that are being prepared in the winery.
You also have the opportunity to pre-order some new vintages in our online store