Spain’s Navarra region has enjoyed an “excellent” 2016 vintage

Spain’s Navarra 2016 vintage is said to be “excellent” according to the manager of the region’s Consejo Regulador.  

In total around 83 million kilos of grapes were harvested – slightly down on last year  – with Ribera Alta accounting for 39% of the total harvest, Ribera Baja 28%, the Lower Mountains 17%, and Tierra Estella and Valdizarbe the remaining 8%. Production is heavily weighted towards red wines, with red accounting for 89% of the total, and whites the remaining 11%.

Improvements in technology over the past 30 years has seen Navarra transform itself from a region best known for its rose wine made from Garnacha, to one that has been extremely successful in producing well priced, well made wines for the export market.

Because it is not as well known as its neghbouring wine region Rioja, Navarra wines tend to offer good value for money.

Home to around 11,000 hectares of vineyards and split into five different regions, typical grapes grown in Navarra include Garnacha, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay.

Now that the 2016 harvest is complete, Jordi Vidal, general manager of the Consejo Regulador Navarra believes it is a “promising” vintage.

“The sanitary conditions of the grapes is excellent and means we are destined to have a great year in 2016 and this is down to the hard work of 2,244 wine growers and the 96 wineries that make up the DO Navarra,” he said.

“The 2016 harvest began at the end of August in the Lower Ribera with the earliest white grape varieties such as, for example, Chardonnay. After a mild spring and a dry summer, it started to rain in the middle of September which coincided with the end of the maturation cycle for the red varieties.

“However the rains were short and a warm end to September and at the start of October, accompanied by sharp contrasts in diurnal temperatures, lead to a slow ripening of the grapes, great balance and the promise of some spectacular wines in 2016.”

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Neville Blech
 

Qualified as a chartered accountant in 1959 and became passionate about food and wine whilst working in Italy in the early sixties.

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