This September the harvest is completely out of synch. Due to an extremely dry and hot August, all of the white grapes matured very early. They were of high quality but low quantity. We returned from our holiday travels on a Saturday and harvested both Xarello and Parellada grapes the next day. Usually these mature a week or two apart and take an entire day to harvest and process each field. This year with the help of true friends we did both in just one day.
Our original field of Cabernet is just 60 plants. (We have 800 more reds planted, but won’t see grapes on them until next year or the year after.) Of our 60 plants the javelina boar had devoured ¼ of our yield. The reds normally mature toward the end of September/early October.
This past weekend was supposed to be a fun weekend with friends at the vineyard and minimum work; however, due to rain on the forecast we cancelled. On the surprisingly dry Sunday, Will and I drove out to check on the white wine that is in the tank and to paint the casita. Stassa joined friends in Sitges for a day of surfing.
I went to check the sugar level on the Cabernet, and to my surprise it was at the desired level for harvesting. Agh! It was only the two of us staring at that numbers on the refractometer, and these babies were just not going to wait. So in the spirit of Dos Padres it was just us two dads harvesting, crushing and de-stemming. We opted to hand de-stem as it was a small yield, and cleaning the crusher de-stemmer takes more time, water and effort than we thought it was worth.
We did get to have the “I Love Lucy” moment (which many friends envision for us, but which in fact rarely happens) stomping barefoot on the red grapes. Too bad the tank and the yield were to small for the both of us at once!
This will be our first Spanish red wine, probably coming in at a precious 40 bottles or so. The grape juice from the cabernet so far tastes awesome!