Our new secret grape source
August 14th, 2008 | Uncategorized
The months of August & September see the climax of grape hunting season here in Galicia. Following a very modest 2007 harvest (actually 40% less than 2006), and with 2008 shaping up to be similar in size, the precious Albaiño grape is proving to be quite scarce and difficult to procure.
Every year rumours abound of unscrupulous cellars buying Alvarinho grapes from just across the border in northern Portugal, with lorries running the gauntlet in the dead of night – well, this year we have our own plan…..
In April 2005 we sent some Albariño vines to a new, secret location, and, as witnessed by the photograph above, the fruit is almost there for the picking.
And the exact location of this new supply?…. Cobh, County Cork in the Republic of Ireland!!!
A few years ago I was invited to take part in a small experiment, to see how the Albariño vine would survive (or not) in the deep south of Ireland. An enthusiastic Irishman, who had just returned from a stroll down the Camino de Santiago, decided that he would try planting a few vines in his garden to see what would happen.
Well, clearly the vines have survived, and all we have to do now is to work out how to pick the grapes and get them back to our presses before they oxidise!
A setting not quite as romantic as our own ‘El Pazo’ vineyard