The 2019 grape harvest in Bulgaria is likely to result in good quality wines, though quantities of grapes will be lower after the hail and heavy rains earlier in the summer, local media quoted wine industry commentators as saying.
Harvesting of early varieties such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir will begin in late August with other varieties to follow in September and later.
The main threat to Bulgaria’s grape harvest now would be further heavy rainfall and a sharp drop in temperatures. Heavy cold would cause grapes to crack, leaving them vulnerable to diseases.
However, Bulgarian weather forecasters see no significant drop in temperatures in the weeks ahead of the main grape harvests.
Krassimir Koev, head of the Bulgarian Chamber of Vine and Wine, said that the harvest in 2019 could add up to a quantity similar to that in 2018, about 153 000 tons, but warned that the amount could be lower because of the hail and rainfall in June and July.
Chief Assistant Professor Boyan Stalev of the Agricultural University Plovdiv said that the harvests would be good if farmers had sprayed their crops in time after heavy rainfalls, to prevent fungal diseases.
However, given the succession of heavy rains, some farmers may not have been able to afford repeated spraying of crops.
Some of Bulgaria’s wine areas, including Suhindol, Svishtov and Pazardzhik, have been especially hard-hit by this year’s early summer torrential rains, local media said.
(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)