Vendimia, Mendonza’s National Harvest Festival, kicked off on March 2nd with the Blessing of the Fruit, a ceremony where thanks are given and blessings exchanged. While harvest has been underway in the Uco Valley and the greater Mendoza region for the past couple of weeks, our malbec grapes are only now reaching their time for picking. As with every step in a wine’s journey, decisions based upon timing and circumstance are part of the dance that ultimately leads to great wine.
It was a very hot summer in Mendoza with temperatures reaching over 100 degrees several times during the second half of December and through January. And, as a result of the hot weather, the grapes have matured faster this year so the harvest is, in general, ahead of schedule. With the right combination of canopy management and watering, our team has maintained an extremely high quality in the vineyard.
Another potential impact on timing during the harvest is rain. Based upon the overall readiness of the grapes and due to the incredibly hot summer, our vineyard would have been harvested sooner however, due to a wetter than normal finish to the season, it had to be postponed. While the rain is not bad for the grapes and rain in February is normal, the grapes can become bloated with water after several days of rain. Since we are looking for more concentrated grapes, we will let the grapes settle before hand picking them and walking them to the sorting tables.
Due to the hot summer, we are expecting fruit with mature tannins which will produce well-structured wine. In the winery, we are planning for longer cold macerations to preserve the fruitiness of the grapes and enhance the color and aromas of the wine. We are excited and hopeful for another great vintage in 2014.
But the truth is, as the 2014 is being harvested, it’s difficult to ignore our 2012 Malbec which is on a boat, and will soon be ready to ship.