Now harvest has been completed in Viña Lanciano, it is time to take stock. This unique 72-hectare vineyard usually marks the start of harvest in the Rioja Alta area, due to its soil composition, climate and location.
A good year
Fortunately it has been a good year, as far as weather goes, unlike previous years. 2019 started out dry, with rainfall at key moments in the growth cycle. Rain at the start of September, together with northerly winds, meant we had to remain vigilant because of the possible excess moisture in the days prior to picking, when the grapes must reach the optimum level of ripeness. These conditions meant that this year, the 2019 harvest started on the 13th September, a week ahead of the previous year and a return to the norm of recent years. We concluded harvest in our Viña Lanciano estate on the 2nd October.
Each of the 22 parcels in our Viña Lanciano estate are selected and harvested by hand by a team formed of 25 people led by our vineyard managers Jose Lopes and his son Pedro. As usual, the Tempranillo variety was the earliest to reach its peak moment of ripeness. We started harvest in the El Marqués and El Rincón parcels on the 13th September, and picked the rest of the parcels of the same variety over the following days in September, once they had reached the optimum level of maturity. We picked the Mazuelo and Garnacha varieties from the 28th September, and last was the Graciano grape, present in the El Llano, El Espino and Pedro González parcels, which marked the end of harvest on the 2nd of October.
Several intense weeks during which the selection starts with each vine, where only the ripe bunches are picked. They are collected in small crates, to avoid breaking the grape berries, and they are transported immediately to the winery to preserve all their potential.
This could be one of the legendary Rioja harvests. We remain hopeful in the face of the great potential of the wines that the grapes have started to give. From now on, the team of winemakers, led by María Barúa, will be responsible for making the wines that are born from our estate in an individual way, respecting their origins and parcels. The first Tempranillo musts show good polyphenolic ripeness and are broad and fleshy on the palate. The Graciano variety is already giving deeply coloured wines with pronounced ripe black fruit aromas. It is now, while the malolactic fermentation is taking place in barrel that the wines begin to show their ageing potential and their aromatic intensity, acidity and structure.