Harvest in Rioja Alta

The 2014 growing season in La Rioja has been a good one. The harvest has not. It rained in the spring when it was required. The sun shone properly all through the summer and into the early fall. Sugar and acid takes were on par, even exceptional in Rioja Alta. Then the rains came and they would not leave. Being left with no alternative, grapes arrived at the wineries with water on the skins and in the pulp, leaving them bloated and with fewer concentrations of sugar and flavor.

I followed several wineries through the last days of the harvest and while spirits were high when the final trip was made to the winery to drop the grape load, the winemakers are proceeding with trepidation. They won’t know for a few weeks exactly how the harvest complications have affected the crop. I visited Elvillar, Laguardia, El Ciego, Ábalos, San Vicente de Sonsierra, Briones, and, of course, Haro. I found some great wines for export. I also explored the local gastronomy. Below is a short collage of some highlights.

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