We’ve taken this on as a long-term project. We’re not doing it to earn money fast. We’re doing it because it is fun and we want to create something sustainable and long-lasting.
For a year now we’ve been working hard to restore the ground to its original state and have been adding the essential components that have been leached out of the soil over the years. 75,000 kilos of micro-organisms (animal shit) have gone into the ground this year. It’s hard work and it’s not cheap. A real shitty job. And we’ve also stopped using chemical pesticides completely. It will now take two more years before our vineyard is fully organic and we’ll be able to use the EU symbol for organically-grown products. Most of the vines on our land are between 30 and 80 years old. Just like humans, vines don’t live for ever. The older they get, the less they produce, but the quality of the grapes keeps on improving. So the question of when to replace the old vines is a financial one. In some parts of our vineyard, the vines grow sparsely in some areas and are not producing enough. We’ve now cleared a total of 1 hectare of Cariñena. It’s heart wrenching removing these old vines that have been tended by hard-working families for generations.
We started preparing for this last year and, after the harvest, cut branches off the stock vines that we had removed. These have been grafted onto American rootstocks that are resistant to the dreaded wine louse (Phylloxera). By using the canes from our own stock vines, we are preserving the genetics of the vines and the vineyard’s history. This intensive period of replanting has now ended and we’re taking care of our new babies so that they produce good yields in 3 years, at the earliest, as the regulations stipulate. As with anything to do with wine, all you can do is wait……..