Post Harvest 2016
September 23rd, 2016 | Bodega
If anyone ever gave you the impression that once the grape picking had stopped, that we have time to relax and put our feet up, then think again. Whilst it’s true that the hours might not be quite as long, and we might even manage to get a full nights sleep every day, the bodega work is just as exhausting. After a period of cold settling the must has to be racked into clean tanks. We then wait for a short time until the temperature of the tank recovers sufficiently to enable seeding, when we add the yeast for fermentation. During the period of fermentation, not only do we have to monitor the density (measuring the remaining levels of sugar/increase in alcohol) and control the temperature to ensure a smooth transition from must to wine, but then there are quite a number of additions that we make – the most notable of these being the bentonite, that we use as a fining agent.
It is quite a drawn out process that takes the best part of a month to complete (including weekends – fermentations wait for no man, or woman). At this busy time I will do my best to keep the updates coming, but I can tell you that on some occasions it can be really tough to find a few moments to even look at my computer keyboard. Yesterday, for example, was just such a day, when I spent much of my morning preparing for an inspection by our D.O. Nothing too sinister, they simply needed to know the final count in litres of must. The kilos of fruit collected during the harvest itself are entered onto a special D.O. website on a daily basis, but the tanks of grape must can only be measured and counted physically, on site.
Today’s photo montage shows some of the current processes: Top left and bottom right are the residues left after the cold settling period. Top right is the process of re-hydrating the yeast, and bottom left shows the very start of fermentation (looking into the tank from above).