Harvest 2010 Day 5 – Alone again
September 14th, 2010 | Uncategorized
Today’s picture is not quite so glamorous – it shows the ‘fangos’ left at the bottom of the tank after settling. Following a gentle pressing, the grape juice (or ‘must’) flows by gravity into our tank room and is then left for a period of time to allow it to settle. During this time all the debris, that may include pips, skins, stems and even a little soil (or dust from the grape skins) will slowly fall to the bottom of the tank, after which we do our first racking. We simply draw the clean liquid off the top of the fangos using the rather odd-looking bent pipe that you can see in the picture. What’s left on the tank floor is not necessarily very pretty, but it’s better than allowing it to reach your glass!
I mention the fact that we are alone, simply because I have noticed that there are many bodegas in our area that have still not started to pick. Of course what other people decide to do is not really of concern to us, and I guess that the decision of when to pick is one of the elements that helps create variation in the style of wine between different bodegas (and long may that difference continue). For example, the grapes coming in today from our largest ‘El Pazo’ vineyard are perfectly balanced (sugar, pH and acidity) for our own style of albariño, and that’s all we need to know. To make a very crude analogy, it’s possibly a bit like roasting a chicken…. you leave your grapes on the vine until you consider them ‘done’, in the same way that you would leave your chicken in the oven. The only thing that I can say is that I prefer my roast chicken juicy and not dried out!
I should also comment that the pace of this year’s harvest has been relentless – from the moment we started the flow has been non-stop (pretty much the way we planned it). Obviously the more we do, the quicker we finish, and then we can breath that sigh of relief when all the grapes are safely gathered in. In fact, in the last four days the amount of grapes that we have processed has only varied very slightly, by as little as 3,000 or 4,000 kilos, and so you could say that the flow has been unwavering.
Until now, weather has not been an issue, but there is a possibility that the dry spell could break before the end of this week – we shall see.