Autumn is here

October 11th, 2010 | Uncategorized

After such a warm, dry summer, Autumn 2010 has come as a bit of a shock to the system – cloud, rain and much cooler temperatures. Time to pack away the swimming trunks until next year (not that I ever venture into the Atlantic Ocean which is freezing at any time of year).

Immediately after the harvest we find ourselves in a state of limbo – most of the hard physical work of the harvest is completed, but it is still far too early to start pruning in the vineyards. This gives us time to catch up on a few outstanding jobs, that will quite simply be dictated by the weather. If it stays dry we will replace the roof on one of our outbuildings, but if it continues to rain, we will probably renovate the entry hall of the bodega.

I should add that when I say that the harvest is completed, this of course does not mean that the fermentation is finished. It is still ticking over in the background. All we can do now is monitor the density (measuring the amount of residual sugar still to be converted to alcohol), and adjust the temperature of each tank accordingly. If we did not use strict temperature control the fermentation process would race out of control, perhaps finishing within a week, and the resulting wine would be pretty dreadful – fat, flabby and lacking in any real varietal character. Not at all what we want…..

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