Rioja's Bodega Marques de Murrieta has reported its heaviest snowfall for 50 years but says it couldn't have wished for better for the vines.
Around 60cm of snow fell in five hours on 31 January coating the winery in a blanket of white (above). Driveways became largely impassable and staff pruning vines on the 300ha Ygay estate had to be rescued by tractor.
But the sudden whiteout did not spark alarm at the 150-year-old bodega near Logrono, Spain. ‘Snow is good for the vineyard at this time of the year,’ export manager Richard Grant told decanter.com. ‘It helps kill any nascent insects and also sterilises the soil against a number of micro-biological problems such as mould and fungi.
‘Snow also provides the best form of watering as it seeps slowly into the soil. Since we have no irrigation at Marques de Murrieta and a hot Mediterranean climate in summer, this is great news for the vines.’
Written by Liz Hughes5 February 2003