It has been extremely dry and hot for most of the spring and summer which has brought the harvest forward by a couple of weeks. At last, it was time for us to put theoretical learning into practice. We picked the Merlot grapes, which are adapted for growing in more northern, slightly cooler climates. That means they ripen earlier in our region than the local Cariñena and Garnatxa grapes.
The Merlot grape vines cover only a small patch of land. In all, we picked just over 600 kg, which makes about 500 bottles. The harvest didn’t take long at all. We started early as usual, but after a few hot and sweaty hours – at least for us northerners – in the sun, it was pleasant to move inside into the cool winery. There the grapes were destemmed, crushed and then pumped over into the steel tanks.
Now the must is left to macerate for a few days to allow the flavoring components and the coloring agents to leach from the grape skins. At this stage, the must is kept cool to prevent the onset of fermentation.