The harvest at Finca Antigua: a great vintage in the making

Two long months, until the end of October, is the harvest forecast we have ahead of us at Finca Antigua (DO La Mancha). Our technical team began harvesting the first clusters of Muscat at the end of August for our Naturalmente Dulce. After harvesting, the bunches are ‘raisined’ in the sun to naturally obtain the concentration of sugars that characterizes this wine of very low yields and surprising sensations.
Finca Antigua is an extraordinary landscape that pushes vineyard cultivation to the limit.with a multitude of varieties, altitudes and exposures that force us to a staggered harvest.The grapes are harvested by hand, even with several passes through certain plots, in an attempt to reach optimum maturity that guarantees the quality and evolution of future Finca Antigua wines.
It has been years, at least a couple of decades, since the grape harvests stopped being ‘easy’. Greater technical knowledge, the obsession with obtaining even the best wines, and meteorology itself, perhaps conditioned by climate change or perhaps by the cultivation practices employed in recent decades, do not make things easy for viticulture and enology teams.
This same season, the heat in July accelerated ripening extraordinarily, even causing water stress (lack of water) in the plants, warning of the risk of loss of vegetation on the vines, which would have significantly altered the rest of the ripening cycle. Fortunately, August was a cooler month, the plants were able to recover from the stress caused by the heat of the previous month and the thermal contrast between night and day, especially noticeable in high areas such as Finca Antigua (900 meters above sea level).), reduced the early harvest in July and allowed for a more relaxed and balanced ripening process..
We have practically everything ahead of us, but for the moment we have very good quality prospects for the harvest at Finca Antigua. Merlot, Tempranillo, Syrah, Viura, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache and the late Petit Verdot as a finishing touch is the varietal calendar that our technical team is working with for this 2015 vintage.
We expect an average yield in our vineyards of about 6,000 kilos per hectare, 20% less than last year and well below the maximum yields authorized by the appellation of origin. In these last years of ripening “disorder”, generalized practically throughout Spain, yield control, with previous rinsing in many cases to control production, has become the main method to achieve a balanced ripening .
The loaded vines normally reach their alcoholic content targets without any problems, but they are having real problems reaching phenolic and aroma maturity in line with alcoholic maturity. A plant with fewer clusters is able, in addition to better withstanding the water stress of drought and summer heat, to provide the polyphenols and ripeness that grape berries need to be able to produce quality, balanced wines. In any case, these almost two months that still lie ahead of us are the most important in order to confirm our wishes: a great harvest.

Leave a Reply