Monday, 17th of September
A new week starts. The end of the summer is about to arrive finally and we are still waiting for the beginning of the harvest. Up to now, we have only picked up a couple of parcels and taken some samples of the early ripening grapes such as Tempranillo, Chardonnay and Syrah.
As soon as I enter the winery I can see it. Open doors, movement, noise. Sorting tables ready, people all around, so many hands on work helping out. The harvest has commenced, at last.
Friday, 17th of August
It is the first time I am going to see the process of the harvest. All my colleagues insist in the importance of seeing and be involved in it. They say that last year, around this period of time, harvest almost done. It is also said, that this year will be similar to 2016; a sort and fast harvest. Even Tempranillo, the variety that is picked up the very first, was collected in October. In spite of that, it was one of the best harvest of all times.
In the meantime, I get in touch with Susana, the enologist at Pago del Vicario, who is keeping me well informed about the situation. She has told me that a retarded harvest favours us because of the extreme climatic conditions in our region, La Mancha. Uncommon fresher nights turns grapes skin softer and when macerating, richer colours and aromas of ripe fruit can be obtained.
“ I’ve arrived to the Chardonnay parcel and I see the grapes are still Green at sight and some considerably hard at touch. I dare to taste them and… They are still very acid! Afterwards in the lab, I will measure the potential degree that it would be obtained with its sugars, in the event they were picked up and fermented in this moment: 4º of potential alcohol. As you can see, they are still hard to finish the ripening circle.
I do the same in Sauvignon blanc, Red Garnacha and Tempranillo parcels. In relation to the Garnacha, I do not collect any sample because I can see grapes are still very green. Sauvignon blanc grapes have 6,8º of potential alcohol and Tempranillo 8º.
Next day, I will tell you how samples are collected.
We’ll have to wait and, meanwhile, prepare the winery for receiving our 2018 harvest”