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Monday, 22 October 2012

Double Harvest over the Weekend

Last Saturday 6th October, cruel ogre that I am, I brutally and ruthlessly exploited about 20 children, in the name of free labour. It’s so difficult to get free labour these days, that I had to resort to inviting my own children’s wee friends from school and their parents too!

Stomping grapes in the bodega
 No, jesting apart, the little dears had a great time. And, surprisingly, they actually did pick a few grapes, and not a single child cut themselves with the scissors! However, they soon got bored, and after about 30 mins, they were off exploring, running over the hillsides, etc. I also managed to make them fill a few rabbit burrows with stones and rocks!

Bringing in the grapes

Seriously, the rabbits this year have seriously affected production in Carabaña! In the small plot at the top, for example, where I usually get about 600 kg or so, I harvested 3 cases! That’s three (3) 10-kg plastic fruit cases! That’s about 95% of the grapes eaten by rabbits (and maybe some birds too). The main plot in the middle was only slightly less affected, and where I usually get about 2000 kg, this year I got just over 1000 kg. The third small plot was unaffected, and I got the usual 500 kg from there. Ay, the life of a grape-grower is hard! If it’s not one thing it’s another! :)

Anyway, we (the adults) picked all morning till lunchtime. It was a leisurely affair, and I wasn’t expecting efficiency or any given quota of grapes to be picked. The whole idea was to invite the parents and children for a day out in the country, so we could get to know each other a little better. Which is nice, as we will be seeing a lot of each other over the next 10 years or so as our children go through school together.

Working hard!

Working hard!

Working hard?

 So back to the bodega for lunch. Everyone brought something to eat and to share, and we also lit a barbecue.

The after lunch, there was more exploitation of child labour as we stomped the grapes that we’d picked in the morning. A few of the adults allowed themselves to be exploited too! And I didn’t charge them anything for the experience!

Production line

Little feeties

The parents too

Hey, is that must or wine she's drinking?

After the crushing and stomping, came the pressing:

Crushing and pressing

Free run must pouring out

Posing after the first pressing!
 And a good time was had by all! All in all we manages to obtain about 300 litres of must - no bad considering :)
The next day, Sunday, I went back to finish off. It took me about 20 minutes to pick the 3 cases worth of grapes from the top plot 8which normally gives about 500 kg); the main plot was all picked on the Saturday, but I did find two cases of picked grapes hidden under the vines which we’d missed when we were loading up. I was working on the third plot, when, two friends turned up at about 12 o’clock and we finished it off just in time for lunch!

This post was all about a lovely, romantic, idyllic, bucolic day out in the vineyard and bodega. My next post will be about the harvest I did the weekend after this one (Sunday 13th October) and it’s going to be completely different. Both posts are true, but the second one reflects a completely different aspect of the same reality.

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