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Our Grape Harvest

Wooden baskets called "comportas" arriving at the bodega during the harvest

The tender care and hard work we put into our vineyards bear fruit – literally – in the October harvest. Photographs taken in 1900 show that virtually nothing has changed; there is the same hustle and bustle of trailers laden with baskets full of grapes, the same enthusiasm to work. Whole families of harvesters come from Portugal as well as Spain, returning year after year, and we have started building a house on the edge of the Tondonia vineyard where they will stay during the harvest.

The basis of a fine wine is harvesting by hand, bunch by bunch, which no machines could duplicate. Cutting by hand, with the curved knife called "corquete", prevents the grape breaking and releasing must that could ferment prematurely. Ensuring that the grape skin is not broken is aided by the emblematic containers made in the López de Heredia cooperage, which have a capacity of just under a hundred kilos. Thus begins the discourse between grape and wood that goes on for years while the wine is maturing.

The last part of the grape harvest takes place when the containers are emptied into the weighing machine - in hoppers. From there the grapes pass to the destemming machines, which gently break the grapes to extract the must. This must comes into contact at once with the yeasts on the grape’s thin waxy coating.

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