Day 3 – Galicians in the Mist

September 9th, 2006 | Uncategorized
Early morning mist on day 3
As Susie Barrie reminded us in her new wine book, Galicia is still a quiet rural backwater of Spain, and in common with many other smaller European wine regions, can sometimes be a little removed from the rest of the wine world.
It is at harvest time that I am reminded of some of the ‘New World’ v ‘Old World’ differences. I will explain……
In the weeks leading up to our harvest we have been busy on “grape watch” in our vineyards, constantly monitoring all aspects of the grape maturity, trying to anticipate the optimum time for harvest, and organising the bodega accordingly. The other factor that influences the picking date is of course the weather, and again, we monitor this very closely (using at least four or five different sources and correlating all the information). To a ‘New World’ winemaker this would not seem out of the ordinary, but here in Rias Baixas I am surprised to say that I have seen little evidence of this slightly more scientific approach.
From what I have witnessed so far, it would seem that many others simply appear to select a convenient date on the calendar (often weeks in advance) with scant regard to grape maturity. In fact, I heard a “chisme” (local gossip) that one bodega had actually delayed the date of their harvest because their banqueting facility was booked for a wedding at the time they had planned to start picking! Can this be true? Maybe we will never know.

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