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home:: LEARN ABOUT RIOJA:: Harvests:: 2000

Harvests

2000 HARVEST

Official vintage rating: "GOOD".

Volume of wine approved: 308.61 million litres.

- Red wine: 275.03 million litres.
- White wine: 15.49 million litres.
- Rosé wine: 18.09 million litres.

While the 1999 harvest suffered a 30% loss from severe spring frosts, this year's weather was ideal for the vines' growth cycle, resulting in outstanding production figures. The mild weather also ensured the absence of pests and disease, as well as hailstorms and other mishaps, allowing the grapes to arrive at the bodegas in perfect health -an essential prerequisite for quality wine. In general terms, the harvest was slow and staggered, the longest in history; this being the result of seeking optimal ripening, particularly in terms of alcohol potential, which developed slowly this year. Colour intensity has also been good in general terms.

The 2000 harvest yielded 490 million kg of grapes (185 more than 1999). After the exhaustive qualification process, 308.61 million litres of wine were finally qualified as Rioja. This figure is 93.4 million higher than the previous year's. The 2000 harvest marks yet another historical record, reaching the highest volume potential in the Wine region under current regulations on maximum yields per hectare.

This has been a bountiful harvest, with a wide range of qualities, in which a sizeable percentage of wines have proved to be of excellent quality, ideally suited for ageing. While younger vineyards with a large production and low ripening have turned out light wines, it should be noted that in vineyards with older vines (over 30% of the total) and in those with moderate production figures, particularly at altitudes above 450 m, the grapes showed great ageing potential in their quality parameters, considered by some to be even better than those of the 1994 vintage. Although this vintage has received the same rating as last year's, the statistical parameters used by the Control Board to calculate the rating gave higher marks for this year than for 1999. A large amount of wine was rejected this year (55.59 million litres) mainly due to production surpluses, enabling producers to have more choice in selecting quality wines.

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