Even though we share the same philosophy, we are still new to biodynamic agriculture and we face a long process of observation and adapting its precepts to our particular case. One thing that surprised us was the accuracy of forecast changes in atmospheric conditions, which allowed us to carry out a detailed study of the lunar and astral calendar. This has allowed us to move forward with preventative treatments, postpone green pruning, and be more effective than in previous years.
Winter runs until mid-April. Until then, maximum temperatures range from 1ºC to 8ºC, in exceptional circumstances reaching the 10ºC required for the plant to start bleeding.
There was particularly heavy rainfall in February and March. The winter gave us three copious snowfalls.
April was unusually frigid, but the 17th heralded the start of more pleasant weather and by the 25th, the buds were on the verge of sprouting.
We had our first hailstorm on April 27, which caught us at the lot line. Courtesy of the prediction made in the María Thun calendar, we moved ahead and put the netting in place much earlier than usual. There was a sharp fall in maximum temperatures, which remain at between 2ºC and 9ºC.
On May 12, when the temperature was 17ºC, the poppies began to flower. The poppies only flower in years of heavy rainfall in the spring. These brought with them the first inflorescence on the Chardonnay vine. The first green shoots were 3 to 8 cm in length, while at Bullas, 700 metres lower down and 50km away, the shoots on the vines were already more than 20cm long.
The weather in May was particularly unstable across the Iberian peninsula, with frost, hailstones, and abundant rainfall. In Inazares it was unusually cold.
Rains on June 2 brought with them a second hailstorm.
The media referred to a particularly cold June. Unusually, there was a temperature inversion on the northern edge of Europe. It was warmer there than here! We compared the temperature in Inazares with temperatures in the regions of Alsace, Champagne, the Upper Rhone, and Haro, confirming that daytime temperatures here were always between 6ºC and 10ºC lower, day after day. Temperatures at sunrise still not do exceed 7ºC.
Finally, it was announced that this spring was the coldest in Spain since 1953.
In mid-July, maximum temperatures were as per usual (26ºC to 30ºC), while minimum temperatures were 14ºC to 18ºC. However, winds were stronger and fresher. At sunrise, relative humidity is between 55% and 75%, falling to 25% by sundown.
There was no rain in July. The 20th saw the start of a heatwave, and the nights got warmer. We no longer needed the quilt to sleep!
Temperatures reached 33ºC on July 23, but breezes coming in from the north of Spain continue to bring early morning temperatures of 16ºC to 18ºC.
On July 30, there was a heatwave in the south of the Iberian peninsula. There was a dormant period.
On August 4, we had temperatures of 38ºC. Ripening was delayed.
UV levels remained extremely high throughout the summer. The UV index was very high on a regular basis and, less often, exceeded this level.
On August 9, there was a ferocious hailstorm in Inazares that destroyed tiles and the windows of almost every car in the hamlet.
There was a fourth hailstorm on August 12.
The following days saw copious amounts of rain and the first intense mist without any breeze, with temperatures falling to 22ºC.
The white grape harvest began in Almansa in the last week of August, while in Inazares we saw alternating days of clear skies and cloud cover and the ripening process had not yet been completed.
There was copious rain on September 4, 6, and 8. The management of the vineyard with 8 varieties became a highly complex undertaking. Our calendar did not predict any signs of respite from the rain for the second half of the month.
Until the start of the pressing of the harvest on 26 September, we enjoyed alternating days of occasional rain with warm days with temperatures of 22 to 24ºC and breezes that dried the grapes and allowed them to recover.
From them on and until the Monastrell harvest at the end of September, there was a respite in the weather.