The grapes arrived in excellent health with analytical parameters which correspond to an extraordinary vintage.
Negligible rainfall and the absence of frost ended the previous growth cycle and continued through the dormant period coupled with moderate snow.
Budburst was good and occurred 7-10 days earlier than the previous year although rain continued to be scarce. In late April, 100% budding of the primary buds was recorded with good fertility ranging between 1.2 and 1.6 clusters per bud for red grape varieties.
Setting was complete by mid June about 10 days ahead of 2004. Rainfall was well distributed throughout the budding and setting stages to cover water requirements. Thunderstorms arrived in June contributing a substantial amount of water to the water table. July was particularly dry but, in spite of this, the plants were in good health and canopy development was moderate but well-balanced. Despite lower rainfall figures overall, the stress level was acceptable in most vineyards. Irrigation was forbidden from 1 August in Rioja Baja and from 8 August in the rest of Rioja.
Véraison took place as normal from mid-July still 10 days ahead of the previous year (although average for the region). By 22 August, the general vineyard conditions were excellent both in terms of canopy development and with regard to plant health, whilst the ripening process was evolving correctly.
Good weather continued at the beginning of the red grape harvest in Rioja Alta and Alavesa during the last week of September. With around 10%-15% remaining on the vine, rain appeared on 12 October which affected the weight and characteristics of the grapes. Two months later (which is normal for Rioja) on 29 October, the last grapes of the 2005 harvest were picked. The results have been exceptional. The grapes arrived in excellent health with analytical parameters which correspond to an extraordinary vintage.