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The life of a winemaker - sometimes things just don't go the right way...

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Well well, it's been 8 months since my last chapter on these series, so time for some updates, both good and bad news.

Let's start with the bad news... first, I can't really explain myself how that happened, well I have some ideas but you'll see. Fact is, you know I make both red and white wine.. the white wine is simply fantastic, among the best 3 years I ever had, red wine, on the contrary, is quite bad (at the least compared to my standards); it got excessively dry very soon and there's a marked acid taste on the bottom of the mouth when you drink it (a bit of acid taste is normal for biological home made wine, since you won't regulate at all the pH, but this one is excessive, at the least, I repeat, for my standards).
If I have to give a vote to the red wine this year it will be a 5,5, with passing grade being at 6; I'm not going to throw it away (not all of it at the least ), but I won't certainly be proud of it or will bring it around. In 27 years of production my average for the red wine was around 8, with a couple of times (2003 and 2011) hitting the maximum, 10.. so you can imagine I was pretty shocked of this, not properly pissed off (at the least until the white wine finishes ), but surprised to say the least..

Now, going back with my memory to recall what could have happened, the only difference with past years is that during the days of the first rack (when you move the must, remember the "flower"?, from the alcoholic fermentation barrels to the lactic acid fermentation tanks) I wasn't present (actually I was abroad for work, I was in Barcelona the week there were the riots due to sentences of Puigdemont and friend, and I got stuck there till the next Monday.. if you ask me there are certainly much worse places to get stuck ) and so it was my brother in law who did it.. that procedure is very delicate, more than one can think, and even if my brother in law helped me many times, it was always me leading and dictating the precise times, so it might well be that he did something wrong.. consider this: it was me who did the first rack for the white wine, and it comes out to be a top 3 ones..
However, the funniest part is that even if I never told him anything, I suspect that my brother in law feels like or has the doubt that he did something wrong, and he's mad at that.. lol, while I'm totally not worried about having to drink less or in lower quality, he went immediately nuts and it took him weeks to cope with this fact (like that he was doing searches on Google like "how do I make my wine good again?" )... well at the least it has been a funny period, this is also part of making wine I suppose .

Switching to the good side of things, this season is coming as one of the best I could remember.. at the moment we had a good balance between rain and sun (averagely three days of rain, one week of sun, then rain again, etc).. the only risk I can see is if we'll suddenly get into a longer dry period, something which happened in the past. Fact is, now the trees are building up a lot of grapes due to rain/sun mix, but if we'll have a long dry (and hot period), let's say 3 weeks or more, then quite certainly most of the grapes will simply dry out.. which will dramatically reduce the production and will piss me off terribly (again).

However, for the moment being, the trees are healthy, the grapes are abundant and growing, the weather forecasts are good enough (crossing my fingers, really), so if nothing changes sensibly this might easily be a 9-10 season
I don't have pictures to post right now, or better to say I have some, but they are really meaningless to someone who doesn't have the experience and trained eye of a long term wine maker: in other words you would be seeing only a lot of bright green right now
I promise I'll post some more pictures when the time will be ripe, so I should be back on this blog around end of August/early September, approximately 1 month before the harvest.

Updated November 02, 2020 at 06:24 AM by Flinn

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  1. makanyane's Avatar
    the trees are healthy, the grapes are abundant and growing, the weather forecasts are good enough
    This sounds like as much as anyone can hope for at the moment, I'm envying you your place in the country with the opportunity to nurture a harvest! Looking forward to the pic's when you post them.
  2. Flinn's Avatar
    quite a lot of people have been envying me during the quarantine

    I'm having great times recently in the vineyard, yesterday for instance I spent 4 hours working on it and my little daughter (she is 5 and a half) has been helping me all the time (ok helping is not really the correct term, since she was playing all the time, let's say she kept me company )
  3. Flinn's Avatar