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Wednesday 27 January 2010

Bye-bye Vineyard

We are kind of sad today at Vinos Ambiz as we have ‘officially’ relinquished the big vineyard in Ambite (Madrid region, Spain), that we took on just over a year ago. We saw this coming, but it’s hard when it actually comes about.

Cabernet Sauvignon

As some of you may know already, it was a vineyard that was abandoned and had run wild for 2 years. There was about 15 acres of Tempranillo and 5 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon. Our plan was to prune it, enclose it with a fence, uproot the tree saplings, and generally nurse it back to health and eventually to full production. (See some earlier posts from last year)

More Cabernet Sauvignon

However, to cut a long story short, it turned out that most of the vines (about 80% of them) were dead. The only viable solution for this vineyard would have been to uproot the dead vines (or even all of them) and replant, which unfortunately we can’t afford to do.

Tempranillo vines with oak tree

Well, it was an expensive lesson learnt!

Vine 'crying' - just like us!

The only good thing about it (appart from the lesson learnt, and the good times we had in the vineyard during the course of the year! - see previous posts) is that we managed to harvest ('scrounge') about 100 kg of Cab Sauv grapes from the abandoned vines which we then crushed, fermented and blended with our Garnacha ('Grenache') wine to make blend of 3% Cab + 97% Garnacha.

Monday 25 January 2010

Woe in the Winery

Well, over the weekend we made a start on fixing the roof of the winery. There were several leaks during the Christmas holidays, though luckily there was no serious damage. The stainless steel vats full of wine were all under leakless parts of the roof. Our carboard boxes, though, were soaked and we had to throw them out. Also, our two oak casks have grown mould, due to the dampness - luckily they weren't full of wine. We will have to clean them thouroughly and disinfect them.

'Uralita' panels and ancient tiles
We managed to do about 25% of the roof area. First we lifted the tiles off, then we put down corrugated panels of 'uralita' and then put the tiles back down on top. Easier said than done!

A well-deserved glass of wine

If all goes well, we should be done with the roof, this week. Then we have do the pruning in the vineyard, and wash/recycle a few hundred bottles!

Tuesday 19 January 2010

Tasks for January 2010

Well, after the Christmas break, we're off to a good start - we came back to find that the winery roof has sprung several leaks!

Saturday 23 and Sunday 24
- Fix roof. We have already got some corrugated panelling, so we need to lift the roof-tiles, place the panels. and then replace the tiles. photos pending
- Wash barrel and fill it with the future Crianza 2009 (Tempranillo) photos pending
- Move 700 l of young Airén 2009 to new deposit, to take it off the lees.

by Saturday 30 and Sunday 31
- Start pruning vineyard in Carabaña (weather permitting)
- Finalize order for new oak barrel
- Update shortlist of 'investors' in barrels for next year
- Wash barrel and fill it with the future Crianza 2009 (Garnacha)
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