2017, Historical Harvest in Navarra

October 20th, 2017 marks the end of this year’s harvest in Navarra and with “excellent” results.  2017 vintage is considered historical because it was a very challenging year due to the freezing temperatures in late spring and lack of rain in the summer, which resulted in 60 million kilos of grapes (90% red, 10% white), only a 15% reduction based on the past 5 years. The grapes that make their “vendimia tardia” or Late Harvest wines such as the Moscatel Petit Grain were not included in these statistics given they are left on the vine until they reach appropriate ripening.

Despite the challenges from Mother Nature, the results turned out to be much more favorable than initially expected.  This is considered one of the most difficult years in Navarra’s history and many feared the freeze and drought would be disastrous, but fortunately, there were just a few isolated cases of freeze and it was only the summer drought that influenced the lower yields.

Yields by sub-zones break down as follows:

  • 44% Ribera Alta
  • 30% Ribera Baja
  • 13% Baja Montaña
  • 7% Tierra Estella
  • 6% Valdizarbe

Another point to make about this year’s harvest is that it started on August 16th, two weeks earlier than expected, and lasted two months which is typical for the region. Fortunately, the good weather in the final phase of harvest allowed for slower ripening, producing excellent quality grapes.  The other good news is that thanks to harvest starting two weeks ahead of schedule, consumers will be able to enjoy the white and rose wines earlier than anticipated.