We have been talking with our agronomic team about this year’s harvest forecast, about the climatic conditions of our estate and growers, how it has affected the development of the plants and how we are going through the final stage before the harvest 2021. We remember that the 2020 vintage was an extraordinary harvest due to the global context of those months, but also because of its excellent quality, and the coming harvest is expected to be similar.
Is it expected to be an early harvest? Luis: Compared to the historical average, we are a little ahead of schedule. Last year the harvest started very early, so we probably expect a very similar start to that date. In any case, it is also the philosophy of the winery to start harvesting earlier in order to have more freshness, less extraction, so that the wines are a bit fresher and more drinkable.
What do you expect in terms of grape yields? Gustavo: In Valle de Uco, where most of our associated producers are located, a normal yield is expected, which is approximately 80 quintals per hectare harvested, since there has been no frost damage or other climatic factors. While the Perdriel area, where we have our own estate, was affected by frost, damaging varietals such as cabernets, but we do not estimate large decreases.
Which varietal is expected to have the best yields? Gustavo: Malbec will certainly be the one with the best yields. Compared to the other varieties, Malbec will have more kilos per hectare because of the way spring happened this year and the impact of the cold weather. Luis: Last year, for example, it was the other way, the Cabernets escaped the frost because of their early bud break, so their yields were excellent.
What is the percentage of veraison today? Luis: This week (25 January 2021) we visited four very different micro-regions in the Uco Valley, and in general the veraison of the reds is more advanced than in Luján. It is something atypical, every year it always comes first in Luján because it is warmer and has earlier budbreak. Gustavo: Two things can happen, they can balance and the harvests are similar or even Valle De Uco may have to be harvested before Luján, which is not normal.
What sugar values do we have? It is a direct result of photosynthesis, it depends on the hours of light and the heat, in very warm years, with a lot of light, they give a lot of sugar concentration, which translates into wines with high alcohol content, in cooler years we have much less sugar, so wines with less alcohol. It has been a cooler year than last year, but it has not been a cold year, so we are probably in the typical alcohol values between 13 and 14.5 degrees, we are going to try to harvest avoiding going too much over 14 degrees.
Do you expect to reach maturity on the expected harvest dates? Yes, in fact, perhaps the rosé will be harvested a little earlier, at the beginning of February, but the red grapes will arrive on the dates we expect.