Grape Harvest / Vendimia

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Stumbling out of  bed at 5 o’clock
on the morning of 4th September
we just had time to review
our prepared work line for
the de-stemming
and collection of the grapes
before friends started to
arrive to help.

After a brief chat about job
roles and how we thought
the processing of the grapes should take place we all took our places and waited for
the cutters and carriers to bring up the first containers of grapes.

We are de-stemming by hand to make sure that only the grapes go into the fermentation tank, so figure this will be the most time consuming activity and this turned out to be correct, most people were on de-stemming.

cimg4232The first containers began to arrive from the
bottom vineyard, the cutters having to use
head  and hand torches.cimg4235

The pressure was now on . . .
the de-stemmers started pulling
the grapes away from the tight
embrace of the stalks.

The bunches varied from very tight and juicy to sparse and widely spread.
It soon became clear that the
de-stemming would take the most time.

All the dried bullet like grapes were discarded but the raisin type ones were allowed into the must as they will re-hydrate and give intense flavour . . .
at least that’s the theory.


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As dawn broke
over the eastern
mountain ridges opposite
our finca
there where many
questions about
how many more
lines of vines
had to be cut.

Standing for over 4 hours the team continued de-stemming and crushing until the cutters announced that they were on the last few rows.

A cheer went up and it gave
everyone the final impetus to finish.

The last bucket was tipped into the tank and the cover put on for the fermentation to begin.

A general clear up and the tables were put together, chairs found and the bottles of cava and orange juice opened for a celebratory drink.

A toast and vote of thanks was made to all those who helped with the harvest; Jenny & Einer, Becky & Chris, Julia & Gordon, Jacqui & Marc, Ros & David, Linda & Adrian, Maggie & Ralph, Polly & Stuart, Brenda, Jim, and Ian.

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With plates loaded with sausage and bacon rolls, tostados spread with tomato and garlic, lots of cold meats and cheeses the harvest breakfast continued for most of the day until the last person left at 4pm, all very tired but feeling good about a job well done.

dscf2243dscf2286It had been a  long and tiring day with about 300 litres of wine in the tank slowly beginning to ferment.

We will need to check that dscf2250the fermentation takes hold, that the temperature does not get too high and make sure that we stir the cap down every 6 hours.

 

Hopefully then
the fermentation
is on its
way to be a very
drinkable wine!

We think this is the first wine made in this part of the Guadiaro River valley since phyloxra wiped out the grapes in this area in the 1870’s.

Crazy economically, as good wine only
costs 2 or 3 euros a bottle! But great fun to make.

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