Relaxing on the lees

January 8th, 2009 | Uncategorized

As you can see from the photo the bodega is a regular hive of activity at this time of year (not). Now that the Christmas rush is over it leaves little to do in the bodega, and so we turn our attention back to the vineyards and the back breaking job of pruning, which now takes precedence over all other work.

Inside the cellar the only activity is in the tanks, as the new vintage rests quietly on it’s lees, gathering nuances of flavour and depth of character from the spent yeast cells at the bottom of each tank. My impression is that our 2008 wine will really benefit from this process as the wine is still quite ‘green’ at this point in it’s life. Given this extra time the wine will mellow and lose some of it’s ‘angular’ structure – it will also gain greater depth as well as additional complexity. Only time will tell, as we taste each tank on a regular basis over the coming months.

So, whilst the wine relaxes in the cellar, outdoors our young team are working hard in the vineyards as they rush around brandishing their pruning shears. Fortunately, as I write this post, the weather for pruning is perfect, clear blue skies, with just a hint of frost in the air. Over the coming weeks the vineyards will be dotted with small plumes of smoke as the vine cuttings are systematically burned – a typical autumn scene in most wine producing areas. To be honest, weather wise, this is probably my favourite time of year, I guess that the cold, clear days remind me of England!

Let’s just hope that the sun continues to shine for a while at least. There is nothing more miserable than trying to prune with the rain falling directly in your face and water running up your sleeves (don’t forget that with our pergola system of vine training pruning is actually overhead, looking up at the heavens!)

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