22 Ene Casablanca Valley – A Small Foretaste of the 2021 Harvest
In Casablanca, the valley where Viña Morandé was a pioneer in planting vineyards, the 2021 vintage promises to be of outstanding quality, characterized by a slow ripening period and the absence of fungal diseases. A likely dry and long autumn will allow the valley’s whites and cool-climate reds to shine again.
While veraison –the process when grapes start changing their color- is slowly progressing in Casablanca, at Viña Morandé, we have taken a moment to share with you our impressions of the 2020-2021 growing season. And to make a forecast of what the next harvest might be in the valley where Pablo Morandé, founder of our winery, was a pioneer in planting vines a quarter of a century ago.
Although the abundant winter precipitations of 2020 did not reach the levels historically recorded in Casablanca, the slightly more than 200 millimeters of rainfall brought relief to the persistent drought that has affected the valley and all of Chile in recent years. They allowed us to ensure enough water to irrigate our vineyards and traditional yields.
Spring frosts, also a characteristic of this area, damaged some of the vine’s first buds, especially in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and mainly in the lower parts of the valley. Fortunately, thanks to our frost protection system, which sprays water over the vineyards, we managed a healthy secondary bud break that lessened the possible damages without affecting the usual yields.
After some fog episodes at the beginning of December, humidity has remained within adequate parameters to avoid fungal diseases that are also characteristic of this valley. To date, temperatures have been rather cool, very close to normal for this cold climate valley. So we expect that harvest will take place on dates that have been historic for Casablanca, starting with the grapes for sparkling wines, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in early March, to continue with Sauvignon Blanc during the first days of April.
We are confident that autumn will be fresh and dry, giving us a hand in maintaining the grapes’ health until the end of their ripening process. In 2021 we anticipate wines of excellent quality in Casablanca, expressive of their origin and the climate in which they are grown.