A priori, the campaign seemed to be delayed in relation to the previous years because last spring has been rainy and cool. On one hand, it was, so grapes were gradually ripening. On the other hand, we had chance to make the wines unhurriedly and comfortably.
An excellent quality as well as a very healthy and ripe grapes have also coincided with cool nights with thermal contrast in relation to the temperatures throughout the day. This thermal variation has a very positive effects on the aromas and flavors development.
Every harvest we usually receive an enology or viticulture trainee from Germany, Swizerland, etc. This year the proposal came from Chile, Patrick, a German naval engineer that change his job for his passion, winemaking. After being part of some campaigns in Germany he participated in the last campaign in Chile (April 2018). Patrick has been very interested and fully dedicated. We are sure this has been a great and enriching experience for him.
Iniciamos los días 26 y 27 de agosto recogiendo uvas para hacer los pies de cuba que desarrollan las levaduras indígenas para luego facilitar las fermentaciones.
Harvesting and winemaking started at the end of August. On 26 and 27th August we picked some grapes to prepare starter yeast with the own indigenous yeast to ease the fermentations. The first variety picked was Verdejo from the vineyard “El Conuco”. These grapes were pressed in our “bodeguilla” with an excellent result. Waning moon was our ally allowing the starting of a slow fermentation.
With this lunar calendar we choose the right moments to harvest and start winemaking.
As in the preceding years, some students from “Gospodarska škola” from Croatia spent 15 days of vocational training within the program Erasmus+ from the European Union to get to know and take part in our harvesting and winemaking.
With the Moon in front of Pisces constellation (Water) on Thursday the 30th of August, we selected the best bunches of Syrah grapes directly on the vineyard to make the wine “Dionisos Agua”. The grapes must be healthy, ripe and with structure. The winemaking process is special: the whole grapes will macerate and ferment under oxygen free atmosphere with high amounts of carbon dioxide. Our Croatian students were fascinated by this process of carbonic maceration and they followed it closely.
A few days later, the Moon was in front of Taurus (Earth) and we harvested Tempranillo in the vineyard “El Corcobillo” to make our “Dionisos Tierra”. Its artisan process starts with the destemmed and fermentation with carefully manual movements of the wine over the mass of skins.
With the Moon in Gemini (Air/Light) we moved to the vineyard “Tinto solo” which is within “El Conuco”. A beautiful bunches of grapes were waiting for us to make after 4 hours of skin contact our delicate rosé “Dionisos Aire”.
The Tempranillo grapes to make “Dionisos Fuego” were picked with the Moon in front of Leo (Fire), which is able to integrate the intense and fruity characters of the traditional “Cencibel”, which is the name of the Tempranillo in this region.
“Las Fiestas del Vino y la Vendimia de Valdepeñas” (“Harvest and Wine festival in Valdepeñas”) took place in the middle of our harvest, so that we chose these days to prepare a special tour for visitors and locals: “Fiesta Catacaldos”. The perfect time to visit a traditional winery during harvesting and winemaking and to taste must under fermentation and wines. Despite of having a busy time, this is a great opportunity to enjoy, feel and see the processes. The air is full of yeast and fruit aromas and the magical feeling of the transformation of the grape in wine is a very special moment.
Harvesting continued with Macabeo or Viura, which this year has been used for two different ways of elaboration. We have been traditionally making a skin maceration in the grape press but this year we have started making a whole skin maceration to get an “orange” white wine. This type of wine is usually unknown in Spain, but in other markets such as in England, Netherlands or United States is now a trend. Our “orange” wine will be ready at the end of the year and it will be presented to all our friends.
For 2 weeks we harvested Tempranillo, which is our more extensive variety, as well as Airén.
The last two varieties picked were Garnacha, at the end of the September and Tempranillo with which we will make “Blanco de tinto” and an experiment with it: we have made a biological stabilisation at 60º in the middle of the fermentation to stop it. It has some alcohol content, but it is a sweet must in mouth. The amount of this must is very small, it is just an experiment and market test so this must will be only available in the winery.
As a novelty, this vintage we will present a sparkling wine with just one fermentation. The wine is bottled with a small quantity of residual sugar that will finish the fermentation in the bottle.
Our years of experience making wines without sulphites are achieving significant results such as the Ecoracimo Golden Medal for the last Tempranillo young natural 2017. This award has encouraged us to extend the line of natural wines and we can say that all the wines made this campaign 2018 are NATURALLY made with only grapes, with indigenous yeasts and without additives.
A very quiet campaign which allowed us to be very careful with every detail. We feel the wines are going to be very interesting by its naturalness and high quality. We will be happy if you have the chance to enjoy them, they are made with pleasure for you.