Sant Sadurní d'Anoia, August 2020.- The wineries of the collective brand CORPINNAT have started the 2020 harvest, marked by the scarcity of the harvest due to the mildew plague that has affected very virulently the vineyards of the Penedès. Macabeo and parellada, two of the basic historical varieties for making sparkling wines, have been the most affected, while xarel·lo has better withstood the plague although production will also be significantly reduced.
CORPINNAT wineries have a 60% to 70% reduction in this year’s harvest, depending on each vineyard. The mildew plague has had more devastating effects on organically grown vineyards, such as all of CORPINNAT, as this type of agriculture does not allow the application of synthetic chemicals to combat the fungus, except for environmentally friendly preventive treatments , natural resources and grape quality.
Wineries such as Gramona, Recaredo, Torelló and Sabaté i Coca and Mas Candí began last week the harvest of the earliest historical varieties, such as macabeo, and in the coming days they will harvest xarel·lo, and later parellada, the three basic traditional varieties with which CORPINNAT quality sparkling wines are made. The rest of the brand's wineries - Llopart, Nadal, Huguet de Can Feixes, Júlia Bernet and Can Descregut - plan to start the harvest on their respective farms this week. The harvest in all the wineries will last until the second week of September, with the latest varieties.
This year’s exceptionally sparse harvest has once again highlighted the effects of climate change on the vine’s vegetative cycle, with more extreme and unpredictable conditions such as droughts or persistent rains and high temperatures. Precisely, the excess of rain during the months of spring and beginning of summer has caused a permanent humidity in the vine that has stimulated the appearance of the mildew without the cellars and the farmers that do ecological crop like all the of CORPINNAT could do much more than they have done to prevent it. The appearance of this fungus has been especially aggressive because, in addition to the leaf, it has massively affected the grain of the grape as the plague appeared at the most delicate moment of flowering.
For the vineyard sector this has been a particularly hard year because, in addition to the mildew plague, they have suffered severely from the effects of the Covid-19 crisis, with a significant drop in sales that has forced to reduce the activity of wineries. Safety measures have also had to be taken to protect the health of workers and, in this sense, CORPINNAT wineries have opted for a safe harvest ensuring that all harvesters do not show suspicious symptoms and have all the tools to self-protection needed to be able to do the job with minimal risk. Whether through the Public Health System or through the wineries themselves, all the temporary workers involved in the CORPINNAT harvest have undergone PCR tests to rule out possible infections.
Despite all these setbacks and thanks to the 100% manual harvest required by CORPINNAT, the scarce grapes that will enter the wineries in this harvest will be of good quality. The selection of the grapes from vine to vine and the subsequent selection in the selection table at the entrance of the winery are two more methods to ensure the highest quality standards.
Production will be affected in volume but the usual supply is guaranteed, with a very high cost for both growers and wineries, which have the sparkling wines of previous harvests that have been resting in the cellar for months and years to meet the minimum aging before going on the market. CORPINNAT sparkling wines are on the market with a minimum aging of 18 months, but all the brand’s wineries have sparkling wines on the market for 30 months or more, as one of the distinguishing features of these sparkling wines is their long aging.
Winemakers at CORPINNAT wineries agree that the mildew crisis has been a test of resilience for wine growers in the face of the force of nature responding to climate change. In this sense, they argue that the organic agriculture applied by the CORPINNAT wineries and viticulturists continues to be the way to find the necessary balance that must allow you to enjoy exceptional sparkling wines that respect the landscape and the territory that saw them born. and grow, "and the best way to ensure that the vineyard lasts over time in the Penedès and our children receive a healthy and fertile land."