The harvest in Rueda: full speed ahead

We started the harvests in La Mancha, at Finca Antigua and in Rioja(Finca Valpiedra), and we are ready or in full swing at Finca Montepedroso (DO Rueda). While in La Mancha and Rioja the work will practically last until the end of October due to the orographic characteristics of the vineyards and the different varieties of grapes, in Rueda we finish the grape harvest in just two days.
The most important decision made by the winemaker and the technical team throughout the year is the choice of the ideal time to harvest. The characteristics of Finca Montepedroso, with only one variety grown (Verdejo) and a flat solar exposure (the vines are planted on a plateau at an altitude of 750 meters), mean that the ripening conditions are very similar for the 25 hectares that we cultivate. The vineyards on this estate are on a flat plateau, to which are added two slopes leading off from it. Harvesting is done in two nights, the first on the plain, and 4 or 5 days later during another night, the two slopes.
Thus, the harvest can be described as “express” with the entire production entering the winery in just two days. In this sense, the great enemy of white wine is oxidation and, therefore, at Finca Montepedroso we harvest at night to avoid the heat and with a machine (the vines are trained on trellises) so that the grapes enter the winery as quickly as possible.
The production of white wines, contrary to what is perhaps often thought, is more complicated than that of red wines and, in addition to requiring specific technology, the grapes are at much greater risk of spoiling if they are not worked quickly. In this sense, cold is fundamental for obtaining aromas in white wine and a fast and nocturnal harvest is one of the main keys.
The yield we expect in Rueda is around 7,000 kilos per hectare, similar to the previous year, since we had a good fruit set and the cool August weather allowed us to overcome the difficulties that the consecutive heat waves of July were beginning to pose.
This yield is well below the 10,000 kilograms per hectare authorized by the DO Rueda for the trellises, but, as we have already seen in the previous postIn Spain, the control of the load has become the main technical argument to control the usual ripening imbalances between alcohol content and phenolic and aroma maturity that have characterized recent vintages in Spain, practically since the beginning of the century.
We had great vintages in 2012, 2013 and 2014 in Rueda and we are confident that 2015 will once again give us the opportunity to demonstrate why our unique wine, Finca Montepedroso is a Rueda of quality, personality and exponent of the best Verdejo wines that can be found in a good restaurant.

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