Hail wreaks havoc on vineyards in DO Ribeiro, northwestern Spain

Tuesday August 31, on the eve of the harvest, a hailstorm hit one of the oldest wine regions in Spain. Javier González Vázquez, owner of Casal de Armán, said Carafe that some producers had reported losses of up to 70%. He adds that everything now depends on the development of the vines that have suffered the most structural damage.

Other winemakers have talked about a very close shave. “The fact that I fell back on the overturning and recycling work in the vineyard kind of saved the day. The excess growth took its toll and acted as a sort of shield which fortunately saved most of the fruit, ”said the only Galician certified Demeter grower, Iago Garrido of Fazenda Agrícola Augalevada.

“To tell the truth, I was more worried about all the water that came with it, the harvest being so close. It’s just a waiting game now, “he said. Carafe Wednesday September 1.

Xose Lois Sebio, winemaker in Coto de Gomariz and his own Viños de Encostas project, were much more affected. “I barely had time to get the car into the garage,” he says. “Half an hour of sustained pounding of grape-sized hailstones practically destroyed a whole year of work.

“Despite a complicated summer with extremely variable rains and temperatures – from 36 ℃ to 24 ℃ the same morning for example – we expected a very good yield this year. Thirty minutes of abnormal weather versus nine months of hard work doesn’t seem fair at all, but this is the world we choose to live in, ”he added.

Pilar Higuero de Lagar de Sabaríz, another biodynamic producer, spoke about the virulent and aggressive nature of the storm: “It was 30 minutes of absolute hell that felt like 30 years to me. In total, 4,000 kg of grapes were lost in Lagar de Sabaríz and Higuero lamented the fact that only wineries under the aegis of DO Ribeiro have proper access to compensation funds following natural disasters of this type.

“Like everyone who makes wine here, we pay our taxes, have families to feed and our children’s schooling to take care of, so this discriminatory policy is completely unfair. If you can detect some salinity in Galician wines, just think of it as tears shed by ethical wineries and producers on days like this, ”she said.

Technicians from EVEGA (Estación de Viticultura e Enoloxía de Galicia) were already on the ground yesterday to advise OD members on the different antifungal and pest control applications available to wine growers. They will continue to monitor the situation in the days to come.

The regional government of Galicia has also stressed the importance of investing in agricultural insurance as a way to mitigate losses suffered after hailstorms, severe frosts, Asian hornets and fungal diseases such as mildew, l powdery mildew, black rot and botrytis.

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