Chapter 3: Control

21st of September

We receive today the visit of the students of Agricultural Engineering (UCLM). Now that we are dealing with the harvest, they take the oportunity to visit our vineyard.  I ask whether I could join them; the longer I can be surrounded by our proffesionals, the better I will understand the whole process of harvesting.

This time the visit is a bit more technical. There are so many things that, even at this moment and after having reviewed my notes several times, I still do not completely get. Today, the aim was to achieve a holistic vision of the process. Thus, to begin with I will go right to the origin, much before the harvest. The start of a new circle that is governed by the control.

1. The pruning

The pruning techning is carried out following a very natural process. At a first moment, the pre-pruning machine is used. The shredded vine shoots fall to the floor; these shoots will not be taken away, because in this manner:

  1.  CO2 emmisions are drastically reduced, since these remain encapsulated with the organic matter and it is not released to the atmosphere.
  2. No chemical compost is employed; only some nitrogen in some parcels pair with herbicide.

2. The diseases

It is a determinant moment for the aparition of criptographic diseases, and it is all about the following formula:


This 2018, the rain is the only thing that abundates in this formula. Neither the vegetaton nor the temperature were high enough to prompt the aparition of diseases.

In any case, Eugenio, our technical engineer, employs preventive treatments to reduce any possibility of the disease to be developed, always adapted to the grape type. For instance, Tempranillo grapes are much more susceptible to the latter than Petit Verdot. Thus, many more treatments should be applied.

3. The irrigation

The irrigation is crucial for plants’ devolopment and future fruit growth. It determines the quantity of leaves as well as the growth, amount and thickness of grapes. It is necessary that the plant counts with constant humidity, so irrigation needs to be frequent. Eugenio has a weekly diary with some empirical and tabulated coeficients that need to be adjusted.

4. Control, but…

Neither the indicators have the same connotations, nor the objetives to be pursuit are even from one year to another. As I have already said through this diary, each vintage is different. I will try to be more specific:

  • We have to consider the «plant status» factorHay que añadir el factor «. Last year, the plant got very stressed. The ripening occurred very fast due to the extreme temperatures. This 2018, plants are exhausted, but it does not necessarily indicates a worse quality. Instead, it tells us that it needs to be treated more carefully. In the same line, next year vintage is expected to be easier due to the smooth climatological conditions of 2018.

  • There new commercial objectives. New international destinnations like China and the US in which tastes and preferences are completely different to which we are use to. This affects the whole creation process.


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