DO (Protected Denomination of Origin) Montilla-Moriles, in Cordoba, has begun its grape harvesting season, one of the first in Europe.
The first grapes harvested will be the early white varieties such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Verdejo and Moscatel, which will produce the first musts for making young wines, followed by the native Pedro Ximenez.
In an official statement by the DO Montilla-Moriles, the first plots of land planted with early varieties, specifically Moscatel, have reached industrial maturity.
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President of the Viña de Asaja Cordoba sector, Juan Manuel Centella, said that this year’s harvest begins on a similar date to last year, which began on July 19.
Adding that the quality is expected to be ‘excellent’ thanks to the ‘generous rain in spring, together with the high temperatures these last few weeks.
‘This has favoured a good and advanced ripening of the grape,’ he said.
A scarce and localised presence of diseases and pests has also allowed for optimum quality of the grapes.
The expected crop has been estimated around 20% less than the previous season, which closed with 55 million kilos of white grape.
September will mark the culmination of the work in the vineyards of Montilla-Moriles which is usually accompanied by a local harvest festival.
The ‘Fiesta de la Vendimia’ has been declared as Festival of Regional Interest. Is is one of the oldest festivals in Spain and it is celebrated as a commemoration of the grape harvest at the prestigious Montilla- Moriles Designation of Origin.
It’s unlikely that the festival will take place this year under COVID-19 restrictions.
The DO of the region is centred around the cities of Montilla and Moriles, although not exclusively since it includes 15 other municipalities, often referred to as the ‘The Empire of Pedro Ximenez,’ a region where winemaking dates back to Roman times.