Harvest Time in Mendoza
Hopes are running high for a great harvest. Harvest is about 50% along overall. Some of the early-maturing varietals (whites, pinot noir, malbec) are already picked or being picked. Harvesting will continue until the end of April and perhaps early May.
The summer in Mendoza was rather hot this year, with high thermal amplitude (coldest to warmest daily temperatures) that adds to quality of the grapes.
Rain during harvest time can always be a potential problem. So far so good. Our vineyards looked great when we visited them recently. They are in their 7th growing season, and are producing great fruit again this season. Balanced fruit concentrations and excellent polyphenolic ripeness are expected.
Of course the winery will be very busy. Every day newly harvested grapes have to start the processes of crushing, maceration, fermentation, aging, etc.
We had never stomped grapes. Modern machines have long since taken over from feet.
However during our recent visit to the harvest Wayne did some stomping just for fun (see photo on web site). He found that grapes are both squishy and elusive. Serious grape stomping in the old days must have been hard work.
We also had a chance to do a little bit of each of several harvest jobs. Harvest season jobs include picking, destemming, bunch sorting, berry sorting, maceration, fermentation, punchdowns, etc. Our reward was sparkling wine in the vineyards, followed by a sumptuous asado (barbeque meal).
We relaxed at the villa, visited other wineries and restaurants, and met new and old friends.
Our villa is part of The Vines Resort and Spa, which is within walking distance of our vineyards and the winery. We had a number of meals there at the outstanding Siete Fuegos (7 Fires) restaurant by famous chef Francis Mallman.