Friday, September 17, 2010

Harvest 2010 Day 7 - Wrong again!

There are more than 40 people picking under this canopy - can you spot any of them? 

Suffice to say that the weather forecasters were wrong again, with nearly every website forecasting rain for today. For once I am really happy that they miscalculated as it opened the way for us to make one last charge at the vineyards.

Strangely, the climate within the bodega itself is probably more changeable than outside at the moment - the grape reception and pressing room can certainly get quite warm, not just because of the ambient temperature, but also because of the nature of the work itself.... enough to make a gentleman perspire. In stark contrast to this we have the tank room, where the temperature control system is working flat out to keep the tanks well and truly chilled. My guess is that there must be a variation of up to 15°C (I have to measure this). This is why we always keep a warm jacket handy just inside the tank room door!

By about 7pm our own vineyards were finished for this year, but as always there are still one or two stragglers to come. Indeed, we already know that there is still one small vinyeard to be picked tomorrow morning - hopefully just enough to fill one last press.

2010 has certainly yielded a big harvest of good quality fruit, and as always, we are very thankful for this. I am also given to believe that the denomination of Rias Baixas itself is anticipating a record year, with more than 30 million kilos predicted for the whole area. If this figure is correct, it will beat the previous record of 29 million kilos in 2006.

The other official news is that our Consello (Rias Baixas) have increased the maximum permitted yield per hectare by 8.33%. Personally I think that is probably because of pressure from the 'big boys' (co-operatives)to squeeze every last drop out of the vineyards. To be extremely honest I have always been vehemently against this approach to wine making. It is quite clear that the best wines are always produced by the lowest yields, so for me this is very much a step in the wrong direction. Having said that, our customers should rest assured that we will not be changing our policy at Castro Martin..... Low yield = Better wine

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