A good part of the production has been damaged by mildiu, which this year has spread widely in the Penedès region as a result of an exceptional episode of excess rain in spring.
Torrelavit, August 2020.- The 2020 harvest at Finca Nadal de la Boadella will be the smallest in the last 75 years. The nearly one hundred hectares of organic vineyards on our estate have not escaped the mildiu disease that this year has massively affected the Penedès region. Macabeo and parellada, two of the basic historical varieties for the production of sparkling wines, have suffered severely from the effects of this disease, while the effects on xarel·lo, which we also use to make our still white wines, have been lower.
The persistent rains throughout the spring and temperatures around 25 degrees have been the perfect combination for the mildiu to spread with a virulence never seen before. This year 2020, we have registered in our estate cellar 29 days of rain and 229 l/m2 during the second quarter of the year, while the average for the same period of the last 20 years has been 14 days and 137 l/m2. Under these conditions, the fungus has not only affected the vine’s leaves, as it does sporadically, but this year it has attacked the grape causing its death and a very considerable decrease in the harvest that, on our cellar, we estimate will be around 50%.
The attack of the fungus has been much more important in the Alt Penedès region than in neighboring areas, and above all the most devastating effects have occurred in the vineyards that are in organic production. In this system of cultivation that respects nature, it is only possible to act preventively with copper-based products, as has been done since the appearance of mildiu in Europe since the mid-19th century. This year, this preventive work has not been carried out correctly since the continued rains have made it impossible, at times, for the treatment teams to enter the plots to carry out anti-mildiu treatments and infections have multiplied exponentially until causing the death of the grape.
Xavier Nadal, owner and winemaker of the winery, explains that despite the adversities of this crisis, learnings and opportunities will be drawn for the future. “This 2020 reminds us again that nature is capricious, and that when it is proposed it puts things in their place. We wineries must work in harmony with nature, because the return is always comforting for everyone,” says Nadal.