Spanish Vintage Charts & Harvest Reports


By Amaya Cervera

Last updated: January 31, 2024

The vintage charts and harvest reports provided by the Wine Scholar Guild give you the ranking for major Spanish wine regions and vintages from 2010 to today. Amaya Cervera, wine journalist and founder and editor of the English-Spanish website Spanish Wine Lover, has compiled this information and written the vintage charts beginning with the 2010 vintage. The vintage charts were updated in January 2024 and include the 2023 vintage. Enjoy!


In a country saddled between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean and shaped by a wealth of mountain ranges, generalizing about vintage conditions is always tricky. Just think of 2013: a nightmare in Ribera del Duero and several areas of Rioja, but a perfect vintage in the Mediterranean, particularly in Priorat. Green Spain (Galicia and the northern coastal area) and the Canary Islands can perform quite differently. As for the Balearic Islands, they tend to perform in line with Mediterranean regions from mainland Spain but can also have their own unique conditions. Rugged regions like Priorat can register particularly long harvesting seasons given that ripeness varies widely with variances in elevation and grapes grown. 

For clarity purposes, the vintage charts have been divided into northern and southern regions, but it is important to note that many producers in Spain describe climatic years as Atlantic or Mediterranean to highlight fresher or warmer climate conditions, respectively. This is particularly common in Rioja, a region that is often described as a confluence of Atlantic, Mediterranean, and continental influences. 

Due to its geographical location, Spain is highly subject to the effects of climate change. Rising temperatures and extreme weather events have marked recent harvests, including frost in 2017, torrential rain in the Mediterranean in 2019, and severe heat waves in 2020 and 2022 (which led to numerous wildfires). Dry farming is the standard in many areas in the south and southeast – like Axarquía (Málaga) or Jumilla – but severe drought is also affecting other Mediterranean regions like Penedès (Catalunya) – the primary source of grapes for Cava – leading to increasingly low yields. The leaves of vines grown in such rough conditions end up developing a hairy underside to retain moisture. Lanzarote, in the Canary Islands, is an extreme case of vines growing with virtually no water supply. In contrast, the combination of humidity and heat in Galicia threatens to tropicalize the weather which creates higher fungal vulnerability and botrytis. 

As concerning as this situation may be, the country has the tools to address these challenges. These include the use of drought-resistant, recuperated, long-cycle varieties, or planting in mountainous areas (the foothills of the Pyrenees are the last frontier for wine in Spain). In terms of winemaking, the trend towards early picking, softer extraction, and the use of larger containers and materials other than oak (e.g. concrete, clay, and stainless steel) are also gaining in popularity because they help to retain freshness even in warmer vintages.

Northern Regions

Climate change has benefited cold areas in Northern Spain, particularly in the Txakoli regions in the Basque Country, which have progressed beyond the young fizzy, zesty wines of the past and are now producing serious whites with the ability to age. Warmer growing seasons in the 2010s and early 2020s have also boosted Galician reds and put the spotlight on other areas across the country where grapes have previously struggled to ripen in the past. These areas include the Najerilla Valley and the Sierra de Moncalvillo in Rioja, as well as the high plateaus of Ribera del Duero or the elevated vineyards of Soria in the eastern corner of the region. Soria, in fact, can perform quite differently given that budding takes place at a later stage and the growing cycle tends to be shorter. 

In Ribera del Duero, powerful, fully ripe vintages producing wines of consistent quality are usually considered to be better. However, challenging years often result in wines of great balance and finesse, even if not all producers get the vintage right. For example, the 2010, 2011, 2015, and 2019 vintages were all fully ripe with remarkably higher than average quality. 2013 was excellent in the Mediterranean but uninspiring in Rioja and Ribera del Duero, while 2016 saw high yields with quality-conscious producers producing beautiful wines. 2018 was a fresh, wet, and challenging year well-suited to those willing to produce elegant, less-structured wines. Despite mildew and COVID, 2020 was much better than expected. Thanks to its fresh profile, perfect ripeness, and elegant tannins, 2021 looks promising in most areas. 2022 was much fresher than what the scorching conditions of the season had forecasted. 2023 was marked by severe drought and lower yields in much of Spain, but Galicia and the coastal areas experienced considerable rainfall during September, making the harvest more challenging.
Vintage Rioja Priorat Ribera Del Duero Rías Baixas

Southern Regions

The 2010s and early 2020s have been challenging years in Spain’s southern regions due to increasingly warm temperatures and drought. 2010 was a very good vintage in Gredos (Central Spain), Castilla-La Mancha, and some areas of Andalucía; but it was slightly wet in the Southeast (Valencia, Murcia, and the areas of Castilla-La Mancha with rivers flowing into the Mediterranean). Valencia, in particular, is prone to cold fronts with heavy rainfall towards the end of the growing season. 2011 and 2012 were warm years, although the wines from 2012 showed a bit fresher. 2013 was cold and wet in Gredos and the Southeast but a good year in Castilla-La Mancha. 

Contrary to other parts of the country, rain was not an issue in 2014. In the south it was a dry year with extremely low yields. 2015 and 2016 were also warm and dry, except for Jerez in 2016, which was much fresher. In contrast to the bumper crops in northern Spain, 2016 in the south was marked by very low yields. 2017 was a great vintage in the Southeast. Generous rainfall in winter and timely rainfall at the end of August allowed for even ripening and deep, intense fruit. The wines were more concentrated in Castilla-La Mancha, due to a warmer summer, while Gredos experienced frost and rain during the flowering period followed by drought during the end of the cycle. This led to smoother, lighter wines. In the Canary Islands the best 2017s come from the north of Tenerife. 

2018 was outstanding in Jerez and particularly in Gredos thanks to perfect weather conditions and slow ripening; the wines are fresh, juicy, and show notable depth. In the Canary Islands it was a fresh, Atlantic vintage with good levels of acidity. However, the Southeast was hit with more challenges as rainfall hindered the picking; but not as much as 2019 when heavy rains flooded vineyards in early September. For the rest, 2019 was a year of reduced yields and concentrated wines with a horrific instance of fires in the Gredos area. 

2020 was marked by early budding, a rainy spring, and a hot, dry summer which led to an early harvest. In most cases yields were down and mildew was an issue in the south. The best quality came from the Southeast and Gredos. 2021 was an irregular year. In Castilla-La Mancha long-cycle grape varieties fared best, Gredos experienced a slow-ripening season, and the Southeast experienced rain during the harvest. Jerez, alternately, was marked by a heatwave and the wines did not perform as well as in 2020 and 2019. On the other hand, Málaga enjoyed a perfect vintage. In Jumilla (Murcia), 2020 and 2021 were both rated “Excellent” by the Regulatory Council. 

2022 was marked by very high temperatures and several heatwaves. Paradoxically, vines grown in areas more accustomed to such extreme conditions endured the heat quite well. Many wines were fresher than expected. In 2023, southern Spain experienced an extended drought, making for a difficult vintage in Castilla-La Mancha, Extremadura, and the Southeast.
Quality Chart Legend
Poor to Fair
Fair to Good
Good to Excellent
Excellent to Exceptional
These vintage notes have been prepared by Amaya Cervera. Use these charts as a guide only; in every vintage there will be outperforming and underperforming wines.

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