Monday, February 28, 2011

Mind your language!

A couple of years ago I wrote about the effect of using 'Google translate' on a restaurant menu - it did not sound quite as appetising once the old software had got to work on it:

Brandada of codfish, cream of sprocket wheels with apple emulsion

Vieiras cleaning rods with apple and files

Even nearly two years later the same software doesn't appear to be doing any better, as it appears to fail quite seriously with certain words by taking completely the wrong meaning. For example a local wine that appeared on a local website called Señor da Folla Verde - which should, strictly speaking, translate as Señor of the Green Leaf. Google, however, has made a real hash of it, and I can't even begin to repeat the translation that it came up with. Perhaps if you click on the picture above you will be able to see the shocking result......

Thursday, February 24, 2011

What the flock?

This winter's best kept secret at Castro Martin.... sheep! We have decided to kill two or three birds with one stone by taking advantage of the fact that our 'Pazo' vineyard is completely enclosed by walls. We have been grazing a flock of sheep for the last few months.

Not only does this help to keep the grass down, but it also help to provide additional nutrients to the soil (excuse me if I do not elaborate on the detail). Finally, there is the subsistence side of the equation - people here keep cattle to eat, and not simply as pets. Now, being a city boy myself I am not so sure about this, I am more accustomed to getting my lamb from the butcher and not from a field at the end of my garden!

In the course of the last month or two nature has also taken its course, and we now have a few new offspring hopping around the place. Perhaps if we ever fall on hard times, and the wine business takes a dive, we could become sheep farmers instead?

I think not.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

No matter how far you travel....

I'm never quite sure about long-haul holidays, certainly it's great to encounter new countries and cultures, but then there's the dreaded jet lag when you get back. To be honest I actually felt quite refreshed when I woke up this morning, the only problem being that my bedside clock was telling me that it was only 4.50am. By 5am I was at my computer sorting through the photos of our trip, and making sure that I look like Brad Pitt in every shot (thanks to Photoshop and Portrait Pro)! In fairness Angela now looks like Angelina Jolie in our holiday pics too, so what the hell.....

I am only back in the office for a week before I'm off again, this time to the UK, on a boat! After a six hour drive to Santander I have a 24 hour crossing to Portsmouth which traverses the notoriously rough Bay of Biscay. I'm not a bad sailor but I still have my fingers crossed that the weather Gods will be kind to me.

Meanwhile back at the Bodega, there is still nothing out of the ordinary going on. The orders are thankfully still arriving which keeps our bottling machine occupied, and out in the vineyards the pruning is actually finished - it is only the tying that remains (another neck and back breaking job that I happily leave to the younger men on our team).