Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Rias Baixas weather report

I think it was back in November of last year that I wrote about Galicia being the driest place in Spain. Well, perhaps I was tempting fate, because the Spring of 2008 has turned out to be quite cool and damp - in other words, back to normal.

In the last couple of months there has not been a single week that has been completely dry (well, actually, there may have been one), and the temperature has only rarely ventured above 20°C (68°F). Indeed the average daytime temperatures for the last 8-10 weeks have been more within the 14°-18°C range.

After a dry winter, it is probably fair to say that we need the rainfall, but as we approach the all-important flowering period, we now require a bit of sustained sunshine and warmth.

I selected the photograph above for a couple of reasons. Firstly, to show off our new tractor at work, and secondly, to highlight the downside of our damp, humid Galician climate - the need to spray. You will also note that the grass in the vineyard is in need of a good trim, but first things first - we need to take care of our vines!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Google your way to the Bodega

If you are planning to visit us at any point in the future, there is now a much easier way to find us - using Google Maps TM.

By far the the most direct way to locate us is to go to the Google Maps page, click on the tab that says 'Search Businesses', and then you will be presented with two boxes: 'What' and 'Where'. Simply type in 'Bodegas Castro Martin', and then either 'Pontevedra' or Ribadumia' (both will work).

With the click of a button you will be shown a detailed map of where to find us - but not only that - you can also 'Get Directions' from anywhere in the world, by simply typing in your 'Start Address'.

Why not have a look now by clicking this link?

This new map feature is also included in an update of our main website, which incorporates a new page on the 'Environment' (looking at green issues) and an update of recent vintage information.

By the way, our super rich customers will still be able to locate us in their private helicopters by using Google Earth.....

Monday, May 12, 2008

Extreme Makeover: Bodega Edition 2

Word soup? Scrabble?
Nearly six weeks ago I wrote about the painters applying a new lick of paint to the front of the Bodega. Well, they finally completed the job at the beginning of last week, which was just as well.... On Thursday we received a call from the sign makers saying that they wanted to come to fix the new logo to the wall. They had originally promised May 5th, so naturally I was thrilled that they were prepared to install on May 9th!

The installation team arrived at the appointed time, around mid-day, in bright sunshine. The first step, and probably the most complicated, was to set up the templates of exactly where the letters would be positioned (hopefully central to the wall, and in a straight line!). No sooner had they got these paper templates aligned, when it started to rain, completely contrary to the local forecast. I actually joked with them that it was lucky that the paper they had used was plasticised, otherwise two or three hours of precise calculation could have ended up as a soggy mess on the floor. So, to cut a long story short, after a few more hours of drilling and gluing (or perhaps cementing) the new logo was finally fitted - and what an excellent job they did! The Bodega is now looking quite resplendent and will hopefully give our visitors a good impression, in keeping with the quality of wine that they will find inside.....

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Re-cycling?... Sorted!

At the beginning of the year I wrote an entry in our blog about 'Green Issues' (the Environment) and how we work hard in our vineyards to be as ecologically friendly as possible. This is, of course, only half the story, as this work continues inside the Bodega too (albeit that the effects of this are much more difficult to quantify). Whilst we have no official accreditation, we are extremely pro-active on many different environmental fronts.

Angela is probably the most obsessive person I know when it comes to re-cycling ,and so it goes without saying that we have re-cycling bins throughout the bodega, and for every type of material - wood, glass, metal, paper, plastic and organics. Bottles that we open in the cellar for tastings (or even drinking at home) are carefully washed and re-filled at bottling (although these are not re-used for customer orders). Even our cardboard cartons are re-cycled if they are not too dirty or damaged.

The bottling line is probably the greatest generator of waste materials. The packing materials from bottles, corks, capsules etc are carefully separated (mostly cardboard and plastics) and then taken to the local re-cycling centre the following day.

In order to reduce our carbon footprint as much as possible, we now use different ordering patterns for our ‘dry goods’, which in turn reduces the number of deliveries that we require. For example, bottles are now taken in full truck loads, and corks in full pallets (giving us enough materials to bottle three of our 9,000 litre tanks). As you can easily calculate, this reduces the number of deliveries to us by 66%. Cartons, capsules and labels are ordered in a similar way, with savings of between 50 and 66%.

So hopefully you can see that, in our own humble way, we do try make a contribution to preserve our environment.

Footnote: Please also note that our AlbariƱo is suitable for vegetarians as we do not use any meat derived products during handling or vinification.