2021 has been a tricky year for wine production generally in the Northern Hemisphere. OIV estimates for the year show that production across the board in the region will be down by 13% this year compared to 2020, when production was already down in comparison to average years. Spain is no exception, difficult weather conditions impacted volumes with a 14% reduction in 2021 compared to 2020. Scarcity of grapes will, of course, have an obvious effect on grape prices, where we have seen prices doubling in some regions.
At González Byass we have worked hard to cope with the conditions the 2021 presented us with and overall our results are looking good as the wines start to finish fermentation and the real results begin to appear in barrel and tank. That being said our volumes are down overall but quality looks like it will be up.
It has been a challenging year in its variability: Philomena, an extratropical cyclone which brought unusually heavy snowfall at the beginning of the year hit us hard in Rueda and Ribera del Duero; rain and hail caused vine and bud damage in May in Rioja; Jerez has had below average rainfall again this year, as has been the case in Penedés, which has provoked drought conditions in other areas. On the other hand our estates in Castilla-La Mancha, Somontano and Cádiz have had relatively calm years, weather-wise.
Sustainability in farming, in the winery, packaging and distribution are more important to us than ever before. Our environmental pledge to get to Net Zero Emissions and be carbon neutral by 2050, in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, is progressing well. In fact, since we launched the “5+5 Caring for the Planet” initiative in 2014 we have already reduced our emissions by 35% across our “Family of Wine”. These measures, from the vine to the consumer, are paramount in the future of the company so that we can pass on the González Byass legacy, built up over 180+ years by the previous five generations to the five generations, and more, of the future.