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Harvest Report in Attica for the Vintages 2016 - 2020

An archive of the Wine Bulletins, as published by the Hellenic Wine Association and specifically for Attica, for this five-year period, 2016 - 2020.




2016

The harvest was extremely early. Almost everywhere in Greece the harvest started 7-15 days earlier than last year, and some white varieties from the end of July! This was a result of the high temperatures in February and the following months. Also, where there was a drought mainly in June-July, it extended the earliness and created a slight stress on the plants. Grape size was kept small and yields were reduced. Qualitatively, all Greek winemakers are enthusiastic about the excellent phenolic maturation and concentration of the red wines, their fruity character and their ability to age. It has been an excellent year. The white wines have very good structure, very good acidity but their fruity character will probably not reach its maximum potential. Grape prices moved up or remained stable while production was down 10%-30%.

In Attica, the climate is generally temperate, while this year was characterised by some peculiarities such as the drought which brought the ripening of the grapes and consequently the harvest (20) days earlier. The vines also showed a low yield per hectare, with an increase in quality, except for some specific varieties. Prices remained at last year's levels.


2017

POOR HARVEST, HIGH QUALITY AND EXPENSIVE

The climatic conditions of the 2017 harvest were characterised more than ever by the changes brought about by the new climate reality: More extreme temperatures, less rainfall, especially in summer. Most wine-growing zones in Greece had colder winters, warmer summers and prolonged drought. The Greek vineyard responded to the new conditions with lower production, healthy grapes, great phenolic ripeness. Greek varieties resisted more effectively as they are better adapted to similar conditions. Thus, the 2017 vintage will be one of the best years for the major wine-growing zones of our country, Nemea, Madinia, Naoussa. Finally, particularly low yields led to a significant increase in grape prices of 10% to 15% in most regions.

A rainy and quite cold winter for Attica. Spring with normal temperatures and satisfactory rainfall. The three-day heatwave that hit Attica from 30/6 - 2/7 with temperatures reaching 43.2°C caused burns on leaves and grapes mainly in Savatiano, resulting in damage that reached 50% of the Savatiano production. Early varieties with rich foliage such as Malagouzia and Sauvignon blanc suffered less damage to grapes in the range of 10-15%. Harvest with 4-5 days of earliness compared to 2016 was smoothly conducted without being affected by the few summer rains. The quality of the grapes was very good especially in the early varieties which appear strongly aromatic. Prices are at the same level as in 2016.


2018

Year of demanding specifications

This year's climatic conditions required proper planning and key decisions in their management as they took part of the winegrowers by surprise. The year started extremely early but then slowed down due to the heavy rainfall in early summer which, in addition, created conditions for the appearance of diseases. Several varieties of grapes were affected according to their sensitivity and stage of development. Greek winegrowers in many areas, mainly on the mainland and in the Peloponnese, had to devote efforts to selection both in the vineyard and on delivery to the winery. The results justified them with the help of excellent weather conditions during the harvest and so we expect Greek wines competitive at a global level this year. Especially the top winegrowing zones of Assyrtiko (Santorini) and Xinomavro (Naoussa) gave excellent results. Harvest volumes are estimated to have been slightly reduced compared to last year in most wine-growing areas and prices slightly up. The exception is Santorini, where the unprecedented grape prices, for Greek standards, indicate the global recognition of this wine, in addition to other local factors (reduced production, low yields per hectare, residential pressure).

Winter with satisfactory rainfall and mild temperatures for Attica. Spring with higher than usual temperatures and little rainfall led to good fruit set. A warm summer without heat waves was accompanied by unusual and high rainfall at the end of July which caused problems for early varieties. On the contrary, white varieties such as let;yrtiko, rhoditis and savvatiano benefited from these rains and produced juicy and ripe grapes. The quality of the grapes was generally good. The rainfall from October 2017 to September 2018 was quite high for Attica (638mm). Prices at the same level as in 2017.


2019

HARVEST OF VERY HIGH EPECTATIONS

Many regions are talking about the best year in 20 years. The rainfall and its very good distribution throughout the year provided the plants with enough water to cope with the dry and hot season of July and August, which this year was without heat waves.

The grapes were perfectly healthy and the harvest was generally later than last year, returning to normal normal normal ripening times.

The main feature of this year's great qualitative excellence, in addition to the impeccable health of the grapes, was the unprecedented for Mediterranean vineyards capable acidity that gives fresh aromas, freshness, and ageability.

Production, although at normal levels, remains in deficit for the country's needs.

The winter was relatively cold with good rainfall.

The relatively lower average temperatures in March and April led to a late flowering of the vines by 13 days compared to the average flowering date.

The rainfall in April-August and the very good and timely distribution of rainfall during this period had a significant effect on the yields and the quality of the grapes, resulting in a good supply of water to the stumps, so that they could cope with the dry and hot period that followed until harvest, fortunately without heat waves.

The harvest started 10 days later than in 2018.

The grapes were perfectly healthy and with very good technological maturity.

The wines produced are aromatic and typical of each variety.


2020

Typical and excellent 2020 harvest

2020 was a mild winter year as January and February temperatures were higher than usual, while the opposite was true for March and April, which led to a frosting of all vegetative stages.

The absence of heat in the summer ripening period and the drought in the summer and harvest period resulted in excellent and perfectly healthy grapes, while the late Greek varieties (Agiorgitiko, Roditis, Moschofilero) were also positively affected by the first autumn rains.

The Greek winemakers stepped firmly on these climatic data and created wines that fully highlight the typical character of each grape variety, of each individual terroir and the overall typicality of this year's vintage, which will give us excellent white wines, particularly aromatic, with very good acidity, while the reds will have velvety balance and rich phenolic structure.

Grape production quantities were reduced. However, grape market prices moved downwards due to the also reduced demand from the covid effect on catering and tourism.


In Attica, the winter was quite cold with good rainfall. Spring started with relatively low temperatures, resulting in a delayed bud development of 5-7 days.

In May, significant temperature fluctuations were observed as we had a two-day period with unusually high temperatures above 36°C, which significantly reduced the population of eudemida with all that this implies for the quality of the grapes.

With the exception of July, which was uneventful, the period from April to August saw a smooth distribution of rainfall, resulting in a good water supply to the stumps and a good balance between vegetation and fruit set. In particular, the 20 mm of rain on 6 August at the beginning of the harvest helped the stumps to cope with the high temperatures that followed and contributed to the good ripening of the grapes. Production was down 25% compared to 2019 while ripeness was very good for all varieties.


 

The Harvest Bulletins help us to look back to previous years and remember the climatic data of the year and how they affected the cycle of the vine and therefore the quality characteristics of the wine. They are also important for deciding which wines are suitable for ageing and which should be consumed more immediately.


SOURCE : Greek Wine Federation (http://greekwinefederation.gr/)

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