Wednesday, November 2, 2011


After some months with one of the most bizarre and extreme climatology is remembered (my father says that he cannot remember nothing as extreme), harvest 2011 started. We have to wait to see the finished wines for definitive analysis, but treading the vineyards and we can draw some conclusions that we have to learn for future.

So, winter in Rioja Alta was very dry, spring came suddenly with plenty of heat, causing a rapid and early sprouting. Spring rains did not appear, and the risk of the dreaded mildew were scarce. The month of July was cooler than usual, but was also accompanied by little or no rainfall. Veraison, as expected, began very early, and after a month of August very warm and very dry September has started with light rain, but continued high temperatures. All this has led to the vineyards are generally very healthy, but also developed and stressed, and consequently unbalanced grapes. Thinking about the grapes, the situation is not very satisfactory ...

However, there are also vineyards in wonderful condition. We can say that there are three factors that have influenced this campaign as marking the difference between the good and the "not so good" vineyards. These factors are: soil,  water and the load of grapes.

In this campaign the most fertile soils, usually located in the meadows, along rivers and ravines, were better able to withstand other extreme drought conditions that have suffered. Soil is theoretically a "low production potential," but surprisingly give better grapes than others "very suitable for quality wine."

The load of grapes or producing strains this season being key to identifying the different levels of quality of the vineyards. Thus, load balancing, or performing a thinning of bunches at the right time, is allowing plants better withstand drought and have a more balanced between sugar ripeness, acidity, color, etc..

So, our vineyards "El Pocete", "Vigorta", "Carbonera", "Pontarron" and "Calvario" are very old vines with deep roots had water enough to resist the draught with a superb quality and some of our youngest vineyards certainly had some problems the last days before pick the grapes with a correct quality but not extraordinary. These young ones were the first ones we harvested and we finished with the oldest ones.

in addition, it seems that we are going to obtain the highest levels of resveratrol ever and we could make our personal record.

In general, we have obtained mid and high alcoholic wines with super deep colour, intense blackberry  aroma and strong tannins which will permit us to produce great wines.

Imagining wines, winemakers work, technical viticulture and winemaking at this new campaign presents difficult, at the same time exciting. It is very well selected vineyards, or areas of them have different qualities to the grapes harvested and develop separately.

Finally, we must all learn the lessons from these difficult years. We will undoubtedly improve year after year, achieving better standards of quality of our wines.

Now, Alea Iacta est