As September progresses, so does harvest at The Wine & Country Club. We take this process to heart and consider it an art form. We tackle this task with scrupulous care, and handle the product as if it was gold.
Much like artisans of days gone, we draw on all the resources available to us to complete the harvest in a timely fashion. And we do so entirely by hand, gently and lovingly, and looking to add a homemade touch.
The winemaking team led by Ana de Castro compares to a spinner’s workshop – they carry out painstaking work to ensure the end product is absolutely superb.
The End Of Grape-Picking At The Wine & Country Club
The end of grape-picking never falls on a specific date. Many factors come into play and climate plays a decisive role in shaping the quality of each vintage. This year’s high temperatures and little rain have caused the entire process to speed up and be completed earlier than expected. But this does not mean that the grapes or the end product—the wine—are of any less quality.
Quite the opposite, it has been a bountiful harvest of healthy and high-quality grapes. This leads us to predict the great success of this year’s vintage.
With the harvesting of grapes being now fully completed, there is now a huge flurry of activity in the winery.
Once we are finished gathering in the harvest, the grapes are collected in crates and come to the winery on the same day. Here they are subjected to destemming, crushing and gentle pressing. Destemming is followed by slow must fermentation at a controlled temperature, which enhances the aroma of the grapes. This is what Ana de Castro likes to refer to as the miraculous transformation into wine.
This step is marked by the action of the yeasts, under which fruity and floral scents develop. However, given that winemaking at The Wine & Country Club is an organic and environmentally friendly process, alcoholic fermentation occurs in the most natural way thanks to the yeasts found on the skin of the grapes.
The arrival of October is accentuated by the formation of fruity or floral aroma during fermentation. As Ana de Castro puts it, “it smells like magic.” But the frantic pace of it all does not mean that the process does not receive the attention it requires. Quite the opposite, the entire team, with its spread and depth of knowledge, is incredibly devoted to ensuring the tannin component is delicately extracted and balanced well with acidity or fruit flavours to enhance the experience with its structure. Tannin development will indicate when the final pressing is to occur.
The Outcome Of This Year’s Harvest
Once the entire process is completed at The Wine & Country Club, a number of bespoke vintages will be produced. By way of example, previous vintages include:
A Signature Wine: Yo Solo
It has rapidly become gold-standard territory bought by discerning restaurateurs and passionate wine aficionados the world over. About 500 bottles are released every vintage, making this red all the more exclusive. This is an Andalusian wine through and through, which is made with 100% Andalusian grape varieties—half Blasco, half Melonera. With wafting aromas of spices and red and black fruit of the forest flavours, the mouthfeel is silky smooth with well-blended resolved tannins, and very sweet.
A red named after the local breed of goat, with whose milk Payoya goat cheese is made in the Sierra de Cadiz and the Serrania de Ronda, this is another wine that merits special attention. This personal Andalusian piece of gorgeousness is just the right blend of Tintilla de Rota, Rome and Syrah grape varieties.
La Encina del Ingles
Fresh as a spring day, this wine is inflected with a salty edge and shows subtle maritime influences that give your palate a little slap and leave your mouth watering. Made from local grape varieties, such as Muscatel, Pedro Ximenez or Doradilla, the wine takes on a most distinctive character.
We are still unclear as to the likely outcome of this year’s harvest, but the Club’s seasoned team with Ana de Castro at the head is looking forward to all the possibilities that lie ahead and to sharing them with the Club’s residents. By becoming the owner of one of the magnificent wine estates available at The Wine & Country Club you can partake in the winemaking process and make a wine to your own taste. It surely does not get more exciting than that!