Saturday, November 1, 2014

Harvest 2015

   We harvested this year on September 14th. After the hottest July on record, the weather cooled off somewhat in August. The first two weeks of September were cool and we had some rain. For the second year in a row, we had enough rain in June, August and September that I didn't have to irrigate at all. The vines set a huge primary and secondary crop. I went through the vineyards and dropped at least 1500 pounds of second crop on the ground. I was concerned that, if the cool weather continued, we would have trouble ripening the primary crop. Also, in the past, I had trouble getting the pickers to leave the second crop.
   Most of the grape pickers here work for farmers rather than winemakers so, if it looks like a grape, it goes in the trailer. This year was different. The Tost family brought some pickers who understood the concept. They left whatever second crop I missed. The result was that the grape chemistry was right on the money (as follows):
Alcohol 13.9%
pH 3.65
t.a. .7g/100ml
   I couldn't be happier! As you can see, the fruit was beautiful. The harvest went smoothly and we were finished by 2:00 pm. I am embarrassed to say I only picked about three hours. Since most of the fruit hangs less than eighteen inches from the ground, I'm a little too tall for this kind of work. We were assisted by four very nice Moroccan gentlemen and the Tosts (Rosa Maria, Josep and Marc) matched them cluster for cluster. In my 33 years of grape harvesting, I've never seen anything like it.
   We ended up with 6875 kilos (7.5 American tons) which was 50% more than last year. Ramon Bargalló, from whom I bought the vineyards, said he never got more than 6000 kilos so it was an all-time record. It was more fruit than would fit in my 5000 liter tank. Renè Barbier generously allowed me to use three of his one ton fermenters so we were able to get everything in the barn.
   The fermentations went well (quick and clean) and the vintage is now put to bed. I would like to thank the Tost Family for making this harvest so bountiful and pleasant. I would also like to thank "Los Tres Amigos de La Figuera":
Josep
Joan
Albert
And, of course, thanks to all of you!!!
¡Gracias de Nuevo y tu amigo!
Russell















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