September 26th, 2008 | Uncategorized
David rushes off to distribute the first load of baskets
2008 Harvest – Day 1 – Friday 26th September
All the waiting is now over as we launch ourselves into a new campaign, and I should tell you that in many ways the build up to 2008 has been just a little more stressful than usual.
Firstly, we have had quite a difficult growing season and the quality of this years harvest has been more or less hanging in the balance until the eleventh hour. Fortunately in the last week we have enjoyed some warm sunshine and whilst the risk of rot has subsided, so the sugar/acidity balance has finally come good. So, we start picking in a healthy state and with the weather forecast set fair for the next few days….
The second minor irritation this year was the theft that we suffered a few days ago – fortunately none of the equipment stolen was critical to the harvest, and hopefully this will all be recovered through insurance (we hope!)
The third and by far the most stressful event was the disaster of our temperature control equipment – I wrote a few days about the damage to our tanks, but what I neglected to mention was that, until yesterday, the whole system was not actually functioning! For some reason the new pumps and pipework would only chill parts of the tank room, but not all at once. Indeed, it was only this morning that the problem was finally resolved, and we now have our fingers crossed that it will work efficiently at least for the next few weeks, and more especially during fermentation.
OK, so the first grapes arrived through our doors at around mid-day, and our first impression was that they were much healthier than we could have hoped for a month or so ago. The bunches showed no sign whatsoever of the rot that had threatened over recent weeks – of course some of this, at least, was down to careful picking and selection in the vineyards – any sign of disease and the grapes were simply left hanging on the vine……
The first presses yielded an intensely sweet fruit, but with a slightly higher acidity than last year, in a way more typical of an Albariño harvest. Potential alcohol levels are also nearer to the ‘norm’ for our region – early indications show an average of around 12%, rather than the 12.5% that we have experienced in the last couple of vintages.
And so, the story continues.