Happy after the 2021 harvest
In Rioja Alavesa we feel very satisfied and happy after the 2021 harvest. After several difficult years, we have been able to enjoy a great harvest. We have been accompanied by the weather, which is our great ally, and in some years it has also been a big issue, but this year came very well along.
It has been a good year in terms of quality and grape health in all our plots, and in an adjusted quantity, slightly lower than previous estimates. But, of course, at Bodegas Ostatu we are very satisfied, indeed.
Our main protagonist, the vineyard
As always, the good management and work of the vineyards during the spring and summer in all our plots have been key. We have adapted to the climatology of each vintage, keeping vegetal canopies in certain areas, raising them in others, with slight interior leaf removal and some green harvesting to avoid the grapes caking. These techniques have made an important qualitative difference, allowing us to reach optimum ripening levels.
The great ally, the climate.
As for the weather, we have had a cool winter and spring with not too much rain, followed by irregular and very dry summer. The summer months, with an average temperature lower than those of recent years and without any rainfall until late September, have delayed the final ripening of the grapes. As a result, our Samaniego vineyards were beginning to suffer significant water stress, causing vine-growers to fear the final quality of the 2021 vintage.
It was a dry year, with an annual rainfall of around 420 liters and a strong influence of the north winds. The average annual temperature, lower than in previous vintages, has favored all our grape varieties very complete and balanced ripening. Likewise, the weather during the month of harvest and the final stage of ripening of the red grapes (October) has been exceptional. Sunny days, winds from the north, and very cold nights, some close to 3 degrees Celsius, have made harvesting and winemaking in the winery much easier.
Harvest of the white grapes
We began on 27 September harvesting Viura and Malvasia grapes from the oldest, south-facing vineyards, which were extraordinarily healthy and had good ripening parameters. With a good sugar load that will produce wines with an alcohol content of around 13%, very balanced and lively acidity, and a great aromatic intensity that perfumed the winery during fermentation. Afterwards, harvest started at the plots defined for the small production of rosé or rosé wine.
Harvesting the red grapes
In autumn, we began to harvest the red grapes in the lower areas, gradually moving up to the higher areas, where we finished the harvest on the 18th of October. Thus, the 2021 harvest has been planned on the basis of continuous ripening controls carried out plot by plot in all our vineyards, harvesting the grapes at their optimum moment of ripeness and all of them, this year, with outstanding health.
We also appreciated a very thick and smooth skin, with very good ripeness, which favored the extraction of color at very early stages of fermentation. With a very adequate alcohol content, although slightly higher than in previous vintages and vintages, and a very good intensity of acidity.
Last steps in Ostatu for 2021
We now have the wines finishing alcoholic fermentation. Soon, we will prepare the start of the malolactic fermentation of the red wines, where the malic acidity of the wines will be split. In fact, we need to highlight a great intensity of fruit, good structure, intense colors, and an alcoholic content 0.3% higher than in previous years.
In summary, from Ostatu, we can qualify all these factors given in this vintage 2021, ideal to achieve a final result of great quality. Factors that we could summarise in the word “Terroir” 2021, a word that comes from the French “Terroir”, which includes; the climate, the soil, the microclimates… but also, the tradition, culture and the people who take care of it and accompany it throughout the process!
Thank you very much team, for an excellent vintage in Ostatu!