The period of dormancy of the vine, coinciding with the winter of 2013-14, was characterized by temperatures and rainfall slightly above the usual average for the area. Which in turn provided sufficient water reserves for the first stages of the vegetative period to proceed normally.
The spring was very warm and frost-free so vegetative growth was vigorous, although the number of bunches felt lower than the previous harvest, logically as a result of the earlier substantial harvest having a negative impact on floral induction. At the same time, it was a very dry spring in which, as it progressed, rainfall became increasingly scarce, through to an extremely dry month of May. These circumstances generated a water deficit, which, although it prevented the development of cryptogamic diseases (a fact that remained true throughout the rest of the cycle), it was also the limiting factor for flowering and fruit set processes, resulting in significant reduction in production.
Summer was slightly warmer than usual, with an extremely hot month of June. There were no heat waves throughout the summer, and the highest temperatures were recorded in the second week of July. In relation to rainfall, it was a slightly drier summer than usual. These conditions somewhat limited vegetative growth, as well as the processes relating to multiplication and cellular growth of the berries, consequently limiting ultimate berry size..
The month of September was very hot and dry, mainly during the first half of the month. However, the second half experienced significantly lower temperatures, with a very humid month end.
The warm conditions of summer and the first half of September generated an uptick in final maturation phase for foreign varieties, harvesting the Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc at the end of September and the Merlot and Syrah at the beginning of September. The technological decision adopted was to carry out nocturnal harvesting of these varieties for the purposes of minimizing the effect that high temperatures could have on the quality of the wines.
However, the drop in temperatures that occurred in the second half of September slowed down ripening of the autochthonous varieties, the maturation stage for which was longer than that of the foreign ones. The harvest of Verdejo and Macabeo took place in mid-September, while the Tempranillo was the last to be harvested, in the second half of September, even stretching to the first few days of October in colder places.
In relation to how these conditions affected the wines, in general they led to a harvest that was 20% lower than the previous one, due on the one hand to the smaller number of bunches and on the other to slightly smaller berries.
This has resulted in a higher concentration of aromas as well as phenolic compounds, derived from improved leaf surface/production and skin/volume ratios.
In terms of acidity, this was shorter than usual due to the impact of warmer and drier weather than usual during the vegetative-reproductive period. We proceeded to technologically correct the acidity in cases where this was recommended for the purposes of ensuring the appropriate balance in the wines.
The alcohol rates have also been somewhat higher, both because of the better leaf surface/production ratio and because of partial dehydration processes in the final stages of maturation.