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Thursday, 6 September 2012

First Mini-Harvest Report from Spain

Well, I’ve actually done two harvests already and now I’ll all stressed out because I’ve got nothing to worry about until the white Airén and Malvar are ready in about 1 week or 10 days!

The first harvest was a small lot of old vine Garnacha from Méntrida, and it was really easy because I didn’t actually have to go and harvest it myself!

Garnacha Grapes
I reached an agreement with the grape-grower that he would harvest it (on the date I specified) and he would bring it to the bodega in small boxes. No payment! ie, €0/kg! I will make the wine and give him half of it when it’s ready! Win-win, everybody happy!

So here it is, in two old oak barrels:

Crushed Garnacha in opened barred

It hasn’t started fermenting yet, but it should kick off any day now.

The second harvest was also quite easy going. This was our usual Tempranillo from the Carabaña vineyard. This year has been really really dry and it has hardly rained at all (insert some meteo data) so the quantity was about 25% less tan usual. This year I only just got barely enough to make one barrel of Crianza, about 250 kg.

So, last Sunday, three adults and three children (3½, 7 and 9) managed to harvest the lot in the course of the morning between 9:00 and 13:00. We then went back to the bodega and lit a barbeque for lunch.

Even though the quantity was small, the quality was 100%; not a single bunch was affected by any sort of humidity or fungus-related disease, eg mildew or oidium.

This year, in an attempt to improve on the Tempranillo Crianza that we’ve been making for the last 7 years or so, we harvested a little earlier than usual; we should get an alcohol level of 13%, as opposed to the usual +14%. It’s a bit of a risk, because I’ve never done that before, but hey, there’s only one way to find out!! Is there not?

On the following Monday, 2 adults and 2 children (6 and 7½) crushed and stomped the grapes underfoot. The Tempranillo is in stainless steel, and it hasn’t started fermenting either to date.

Stomping the Tempranillo

So now, I’m just hanging around, getting nervous, waiting for the Airén and Malvar to ripen in Carabaña and in Villarejo, waiting for some more lots of Garnacha from Gredos to come in. What’s that expression again? “Idle hands make light work” or something like that!!!

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