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Friday 8 February 2019

It's that time of year again

Yes, it's winter here in Spain too! Though here in central Spain, specifically in the Madrid - Sierra de Gredos region - it's not really that extreme. No polar vortices here! But not even the nastier winter weather that costal Spain has been suffering from recently, ie flooding, torrential rain, etc. It's not even that cold here - it just dips a bit below zero (Celsius) at night, and then during the day it's around 5-10 degrees Celsius.

Chilly beans!
In the bodega, the temperature is about 10-12 degrees Celsius, which is OK if you're moving around and actively doing physical tasks. But if you're sitting down sticking labels onto bottles all day, then its not so pleasant! Which is basically what I'm doing these days.

Bottling up the Dore 2018
It's also the pruning season. So I try to alternate between sticking labels (and bottling up, corking, boxing and building pallets) and pruning and fixing fences and manuring in the vineyards.

The bodega is a huge mess at the moment and everything looks chaotic and out of place. I used to not be bothered about this but now it's started to annoy me. I'm going to have to take a day out from bottling/pruning/labelling etc to tidy up! That will involve moving pallets around and carrying stuff from one place to another! And will take at least a whole day to do.

Another thing I have to do is press off a tub of Roman Slave Juice! It's been macerating for quite long enough now (since October). Pliny the Elder, in his book De Naturae, only gives three recipes for making this beverage, and none of them involved maceration for this length of time.

Roman Slave Juice macerating. To be pressed off.

Enough for today. I now have to prepare the wines I'll be taking to a natural wine fair tomorrow in Barcelona, the Salo de Vins Naturals.

Thursday 24 January 2019

New Tasting Zone

New year, and a new tasting zone!

Well, a whole year went by and I didn't post a single post in 2018. Which is a shame, because I like writing posts, and I hope that some people enjoy reading them! So I've resolved not to let that happen again. I will try to post at least one post per month, even if quick 'n' dirty.

The problem is that I don't have enough time! Ever since I got fired from my day-job I've been working full-time either in the vineyards or in the bodega, and the last thing I feel like doing in the evening is to sit in front of a computer! But such is life! Everybody complains about not having enough time these days!

So, here's some pics of the 'project'

Work in progress. Lorry unloading stones and sand
More work in progress
Tapping the stones into place

Pretending to tap a stone into place :)
Almost done
All done, more or less
So that's that! It still needs to be beautified a bit, obviously! Like plants and flowers, maybe lanterns hanging down from the beams? I'll need to plant grass around the edges on the slopes. And lastly, a table and chairs for tastings/lunches/dinners!

It took three days to lay all the stones, after about three years of dilly-dallying and not getting my act together. It just goes to show that if you really want to do something, you should just go and do it, without over-analyzing too much!

I decided not to use cement between the stones. This has its advantages, eg that it will look prettier once the grass/moss grows between the stones. But the possisble disadvantage wmy be that the stones are not so stable and may move as people step on them. But then again, the idea is just to sit down at the table or in loungers, not to pace up and down. So hopefully my decision will be vindicated.

As of today, 24 Jan 2019, the new tasting zone hasn't been inaugurated. Not even a soft inauguration let alone an 'official' one. Another task on my to-do list! :)

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