Vintage 2018 / Aurelio Garcia

Aurelio Garcia
Technical Director,
Valquejigoso (Madrid, Spain) and Vinicola Santa Elena (Aguascalientes, Mexico)

The 2018 vintage was a very good year for most of the vineyards in Spain, because the end of January witnessed successive wet periods, bringing snow and abundant rainfall. These wet periods continued until mid April and allowed the plants to attain good growth. The vines were, thus, easily able to pass through a summer during which we had only a few days of difficult weather conditions for the vines (i.e., temperatures higher than 32°C and relative humidity less than 20%). In Valquejigoso (Madrid), less than 7 days of difficult weather conditions for the vines were observed, which allowed us to have a harvest with more grapes than usual and a fantastic maturity, characterized by potential alcohol levels and a pH lower than in the previous vintages, which yielded a fresh vintage, tasty and elegant tannins. In the 2017 vintage, the conditions of maximal temperatures and relative humidity described above were surpassed by many days, with repetitions of episodes lasting several consecutive days. This generated stressful conditions for the vines and as a result necessitated taking precise action at the level of irrigation, concerning the layout of the plants to provide shade for the grape clusters, and to considerably relieve the pressure on the plant. In this way, we were able to reach good maturity, however, although it is a good vintage, at Valquejigoso we consider it as a hotter and rounder year. Without a doubt, in my region where we normally have vintages characterized by high temperatures and little rainfall, we have been awarded in 2018 with a harvest that we have dreamed about for years. In the beginning, with the few first plots to harvest, we had some doubts about the starting date, since the plan to which we have become accustomed is to harvest the ripest grapes, but the next day when I returned, I thought and said to myself, these grapes should be cut now, perfect, fresh, ripe…., these are the grapes that we dream about every year, and in 2018 we got them.