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Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Winery and Wine Activites

The other day we did some winery work:

First, we bottled a barrica (barrel) of Tempranillo 2009. The grapes were harvested in September 2009, and fermented in a stainless steel tank. The wine was racked once to another tank to separate it from the thicker lees, and then we filled the barrel in August 2010. So that makes it 9 months in oak. The barrel was quite old, about 3-4 years so, despite the length of time in there, the oaky taste does not dominate. I’m assuming the wine will need at least 6 months in the bottle for it to ‘round off’. With any luck we can release it in December – for Christmas!
Barrica of Tempranillo 2009

Bottles being filled with Tempranillo 2009

Next, we filled our six (6) new American oak barrels with Tempranillo 2010. These barrels were sponsored (and paid for) by about 12 of our regular customers (See this post). Some sponsored a whole barrel by themselves, while others are sharing a barrel among 2, 3 or 4.

Juan filling the first barrica - 1

Juan filling the first barrica - 2

Juan checking the (fast rising) level in the second barrica

One of the sponsors, Nacho Bueno (who writes a wine blog in Spanish) visited the bodega a few weeks ago to taste the different wines we had available for aging, and he tasted and selected his own ‘coupage’ for his barrel. He’s decided to call the wine “Las Cinco en Punto”, ie “Five on the Dot” because it contains five different varieties:
   80% Tempranillo
    5% Garnacha
    5% Sirah
    5% Petit Verdot
    5% Airén

Juan pouring some Petit Verdot for Nacho's coupage

Wine stained already!

The other 5 barrels weren’t so complicated – pure 100% Tempranillo. We may do more ‘coupages’ later, if any sponsors express a interest and/or if we have any other wines available in the future!

One the one hand, it was quite easy to fill the barrels, because we used an electric pump to move the wine from the stainless steel tank which was about 40 yds away and in another building. We had to connect up 3 hoses due to the distance. Then we (Juan and I) had to coordinate in order to open/close the valve on the ‘bastón’ and switch on/off the pump at the same time. Once the pump was running, it took about 3 minutes and 20 seconds to fill a barrel.

The difficult part was trying to see the level of the wine through the bung-hole in the barrel. Very tricky, but knowing the approximate time it took fill a barrel beforehand helped a lot, and we managed to fill all six without an overflow accident. Then we topped up the last 5 liters or so by hand, using a jug and a funnel.

I think the pump we used was far too powerful and I’m wondering the following:

- Does moving wine so fast affect its quality?

- Does the horrible noise the pump makes affect the quality of the wine?

I’m also thinking of looking for a manually operated pump! Like the ones you see in old movies where they pump water up from a well in the garden, or pump water out of the engine-room of a steamer that’s taken in water!!! Just an idea!

Lastly, .... This coming Saturday 28th May is the IV Annual Agro-Ecology Day held in the Lavapiés district of Madrid. Apart from having a little table in the plaza for giving out free samples of wine (and leaflets) we are also supplying the wine for the official lunch.

So, the other day I did some bottling, corking and labeling activities:

Bottling and Corking

More bottles

Back-label with QR Code and AVIN number

I'm glad I made the effort to do the QR codes and AVIN numbers, and I'd like to thank André Ribeirinho (of Adegga) for doing the technical part of it for me, and Hola Por Qué for incorporating them into the label design for me.

More labels: front and back

1 comment:

  1. It was a pity I could not stay when filled the barrel with "Las Cinco en Punto." In a few weeks I´ll visit the winery to see how it evolves. I´ll tell to my brother Pepe to know the winery and the wines. By the way, radical change with the design and color of the labels ... We´ll have to think about the design for the labels for "Las Cinco en Punto", perhaps with a clock or something like that


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