Well that’s it for picking this year. All the grapes are in, busy fermenting, creating heat in the tanks and Benji can breathe a sigh of relief. We’ve had good amounts of sunshine and wind, no hail, no rot – now it’s time to leave the grapes to do their stuff in the winery and see what sort of juices evolve.
These photos show the last of the grapes from the harvest – the Grenache – coming in. We hung around for a couple of hours to see the action. It might sound nerdy, just hanging around and watching grapes go into a machine for processing, but really, it was quite exciting! Really! There’s something about the odour, the colours, the satisfaction on the faces of the grape growers seeing their fruit finally picked and about to perform their transformation.
As I’ve already said, the harvest is a wonderful time to witness. And it was just great taking in the blokes’ excitement in the cellar.
The grapes were carefully emptied from their ‘caisses’ (box/basket) one by one into the de-stemmer/crusher (yes, it does what it says, plucks the berries from their stems and sorts away the leaves) which then drops the glistening little purple ‘beads’ (they look like jewellery) onto the sorting tray. They are dropped down into another tray, with a huge turning ‘screw’ and then pumped up through the red hose, straight into the tank. Some of the grapes were collected into buckets and emptied directly into wine barrels (second-hand, so not full-blown wood influences on the juice). A small experiment to develop different flavours.
If the wine is as delicious as the berries tasted, everyone will be happy!…