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Grape Harvest Worst for 60 Years

Wednesday October 5, 2011

Grape Harvest Worst for 60 Years

Bad news for wine lovers as the 2011 grape harvest on Lanzarote is the worst in the last sixty years, according to the president of the Regulatory Council, Javier Betancort.   And with almost 55% fewer grapes collected than last year the situation has been described as 'catastrophic'.

In total, only 716,043 kilos of grapes have been harvested during the last two months, compared with 1,568,466 kilos that were gathered last year. Whilst the average quantity is normally in the region of 2 million kilos, making this year's harvest some 65% lower than the median amount.

As a result, Javier Betancort has suggested that certain structural problems are tackled to ensure that wine production remains viable economically, as at current levels, grapes will secure around €2 per kilo, rather than the €1.20 which was the average charged during last year's harvest. Sr Betancort is particularly concerned about the possible effect on tourism to the island, as the unique methods of cultivation amidst the volcanic scenery of La Geria form one of the main focal points of interest for visitors to Lanzarote.

The main factor which is being used to explain the severe decline in the grape harvest was the warmer than average winter experienced last year. In subsequent months, several bodegas suffered from an attack of mildew, whilst the heat wave in early June was blamed for affecting the maturation process of the grapes. And these factors when combined have resulted in the significantly lower level of fruit harvested since August.

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