We are at the beginning of September and, despite being a year in which the cycle of the vine is advanced (mainly due to high temperatures of July), we are still a few weeks away to start harvesting.
In the last two weeks we have witnessed the veraison of the bunch, stage of growth characterized by the change of the grape color: in white varieties from green to yellow, while in red varieties from green to violet. In addition, the juice loses acidity and gets rich in sugar, and little by little seeds acquire brown tones.
The main work in the vineyard now is the ripeness control, the evaluation of vine´s health status and the estimation of the production.
The ripeness control is performed by both, laboratory analysis of sugar and acid content of the grape (which gives us an idea of physiological ripeness) and by tasting grapes (which informs us of the phenolic ripeness, the maturity of the grape skins, where are situated important components that will affect the quality of wine).
With regard to the health status, the only problem of this year was the hailstorms at the beginning of the summer that hit some plots, which have lost some of the production. This is one of the risks of being in a mountainous area with such a severe climate, but that is offset by the high quality grape that allows us to produce.
With these parameters, along with the estimated production of each plot, we are working in the classification of the grapes quality from each vineyard, so we will be able to make a personalized winemaking attached to its specific terroir, and therefore to get the best expression of the plot.
The climatic conditions (moderate temperatures) and the location of the vineyard (high altitude) turn Calatayud into one of the latest harvesting Appellation of Origin in Spain, allowing us to benefit from a calmed ripening.
It is in these weeks up to the harvest in which the viticultor observes with joy how the work throughout the year led to clusters of high concentration and vitality, while in the winery we look forward to the beginning of a new harvest.
Technical Team from Bodegas San Alejandro.