This year we planted 125 petit verdot vines on the area of land that is to be our vineyard. It will be a good couple of years yet until they are ready for wine-making so we decided to buy some grapes from a local vineyard so that we could get our hand in at wine-making in preparation for when ours are ready.
To all intents and purposes, Petit Verdot is a red grape and good to grow at the cortijo because it is resistant and will put up with extremes of temperatures as well as drought. Although it can be used by itself, it is normally combined with other grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon. Time will tell whether it lives up to its reputation. Originally from Spain, for many years it was grown in the Bordeaux region but it became increasingly unpopular because it ripened later than other grapes.
On Saturday 5th October 2013, we went to a local vineyard to buy some grapes. Generally speaking, you will get a 75% yield of the grapes purchased.Thinking that we would be producing about 400 litres of wine, we therefore bought 600 kilograms of a mixture of Tempranillo and Syrac.
For the records, the grapes weighed in at 670 kilos in 30 crates. So allowing for 2 kilo per crate the net weight was 610kg.
Once the grapes have been cut and loaded into crates on the tractor, they are weighed 5 crates at a time on a traditional balance scales.
We took the grapes home and after lunch we began the second stage of the process:
The grapes are passed through the destemmer-crusher twice: first to remove the stems, twigs, leaves and branches and the second, to crush the grapes.
For this amount of grapes, we used 4 large vats (each of 220l), transferring the contents of 7 crates of grapes into each one.