The harvest in Algueira 2019
This year we started the harvest a little earlier than we usually do (at 4 September to of 1 October) compared to last year when we started (at 11 September to 8 of October). Every morning at 7.00 a clock before the sunrise, we meet with the harvest team at the Bodega to go trough the plan for the day, which vineyards we should start with to get the best out of our wines. All our grapes have to be perfectly ripe and with that we mean that the grapes need to be have the amount of sugar we are expecting to create a wine with a good level of acidity and minerals. For this to happen, we need to cut some grapes earlier than other (thus the difficulty of the planning). We start in the vineyards where the sun hit the hardest under the midday to avoid harvesting under the burning sun after 13:00. We usually start from the bottom of the mountain and work our way up. It’s a steep climb on lose rocks so its important to be steady and dink a lot of water.
We where very lucky with the weather this harvest since we only had a couple of days with light rain. Normally we must stop the harvest in order to not mix any water with the grape must, so rain can be a real problem when harvesting. This year it respected us. In the morning the temperatures are very low and the air is very humid, when the sun have raised the temperature will rise to around 30 degrees, which will make the air drier.
Grapes bunches are cut by hand and placed in boxes that can weigh up to 22 kg. Once they are full, The carriers will take them on their backs uphill to the trucks. This process is really astonishing and is being called “heroic viticulture”. Once the grapes are in the winery the process of crushing begins. In most cases we smash the grapes with machines, but when the grapes come from our best vineyards we stomp the bunches with our feet (this might be 10% of the total amount of harvested grapes). After that, the musts will ferment and some of them will go through an aging process, but for that we still have to wait.
Over all we feel very lucky with how well this harvest went this year, its been one of the best ones we ever had. Experiencing the harvest is one of the most magical moments of wine making where all the work and efforts of the whole year pay back. So we are happy, satisfied and looking forward to release this special and magical vintage.