Finca Antigua Moscatel Naturally Sweet Muscatel

One of the most spectacular images of the grape harvest at
Finca Antigua
is the technique of “asoleo” for the raisining of the Muscatel grapes that will later give rise to our
Finca Antigua Naturally Sweet
. Dehydration is a practice known since ancient times, probably since the Neolithic period when human beings abandoned nomadic life and began to form communities with agriculture as one of their main activities. Basically, it allows the preservation of food without losing its natural properties and, in addition, with a concentration of flavors.
In cold areas (northern Germany, Canada…) the raisining of the grapes is achieved by freezing the grapes on the vines themselves (Icewines), while in other traditional areas such as Sauternes or Tokay (Hungary) the fungus botrytis cinerea is responsible for achieving the drying of the grapes also on the vine itself, although with the risk that the so-called ‘noble rot’ turns into ‘grey rot’ and ends up ruining the harvest.
In Spain, especially in the south and in Malaga, the most common technique for drying consists of the “asolados en paseras”: mats are spread on the ground where the recently harvested grapes are then thrown to spread them out, manually, so that some bunches do not pile up on top of others and have a good drying process.
This is the method we use at Finca Antigua, after several experiments carried out by our technical director, Lauren Rosillo. Normally, these spectacular images can be seen at Finca Antigua in late August or early September, when the grapes have just been harvested and on days without humidity, as the appearance of botrytis would be fatal. The process lasts between 5 and 20 days, depending on the time, and again, manually, we turn the bunches over to dry them completely on the other side.
What we obtain is a grape with an extraordinary concentration of sugars that we then ferment in stainless steel tanks with a fermentation stop so that the alcohol and sugar are obtained in a totally natural way from the grape. The result is spectacular: Finca Antigua Naturally Sweet. It is a plot wine (La Cueva), and is of the Moorish muscatel variety (equivalent to the small-grain muscatel of Rioja and Navarra), smaller grain and thinner skin than the Moscatel de Alejandría of Andalusia and the Spanish Levante, and a true innovation in the D.O. with exceptional results.
The wine, which thanks to Finca Antigua’s altitude (900 meters) retains an important acidity that balances the sweetness in the tasting, surprises with appetizers such as foie, nuts and cured raw and blue cheeses, and fits perfectly with fruit desserts, and even as a dessert in itself: a sip of Finca Antigua Naturalmente Dulce is like biting into fresh muscatel grapes (we recommend serving it at about 8 degrees).
Finca Antigua has just released the latest vintage, Naturalmente Dulce 2015, a great harvest in our vineyards marked by an extraordinary temperature range between day and night, which is the ideal condition for the last moment of the vegetative cycle of our Muscat and for its natural drying.

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