Harvest over–a great vintage?
Our harvest is complete this year too, and we brought home the fruits of an entire year’s hard work in the vineyards. As always, this is also the time for observations and predictions, with everyone expressing an opinion on the overall quality of the vintage: stars, glasses, clusters, etc. are being generously spread over the season.
One thing is sure, though, and that is that the climate is changing, and that will certainly impact our work, which is in large part intimately connected to what nature offers us.
We will have to get used to weather marked by extremes: the present 2015, in fact, compared to the cold, rainy 2014, is precisely the opposite. But we all know that extremes do not always make for good balance!
For example, this year started out with a spring that was wet, but the rains were not really heavy, followed by a near-endless bout of heat that often reached way-above-average torrid temperatures, which our few summer showers mitigated only now and then.
These conditions forced us to perform even more green-harvesting than usual, to ensure optimal ripening to the few remaining clusters. All of this, plus the dry heat, gave us a fairly early harvest, and with a low crop.
The grapes, however, were sound and healthy, with deep pigment and fine sugar levels, and right now they are making wines that are particularly rich and powerful.
At Cantrina, we can say without any doubt that this will be an excellent vintage, especially for the late-ripening reds, while it will be a good vintage for the whites and Pinot Noir, but they suffered in the heat while they were ripening, and their aromatics will be somewhat weaker than the norm.
Work in the cellar
Re-structuring work in the cellar deserves a whole chapter all to itself, work that kept us busy throughout the summer and which unfortunately is not yet completely finished.
In order to improve the quality of our winemaking and to make the cellar more efficient and to support the slow but constant growth of our modest output, we decided to upgrade our production area. We retired most of the fermentation vats and storage tanks, replaced the old press with a larger, more efficient model, and–quite important–overhauled our tank temperature system, installing a more powerful, programmable unit.
You wouldn’t believe how the cellar appeared when the grapes started to arrive: it was wide open every day, constantly a-buzz with plumbers, electricians, equipment installers, and stuff all over the place, and us always there having to coordinate everything and solve all the problems that seemed to arise with each new day…