NOT HAND-PICKED
August 29, 2016
AJ Linn (45 articles)
Share

NOT HAND-PICKED

 

 

For any wine-lover one of the most everlasting memories is a visit to a vineyard during the grape harvest. Few sights epitomise so perfectly what it means to complete an annual cycle of growth than to witness a scene that has not changed since time immemorial. Man has always headed off to the vineyard at this time of year to pick the grapes that will in a very short time become wine.

 

Personally this magic moment occurred for the first time in Jerez, sitting on the terrace of a vineyard house drinking the mythical Fino Campero and eating sweet tomatoes grown among the vines. To watch the pickers working from dawn to dusk under a blazing sun was almost dreamlike, but at the same time was a thought-provoking sight. Since then I have known harvests all over Spain, from the Axarquía, where they use mules and donkeys on the steep slopes, to Tenerife with its plodding camels. But revisiting the Jerez region recently, it was obvious things have changed forever. In the massive Santa Lucia vineyard of 200 hectares, the source of grapes for Barbadillo’s Castillo de San Diego and Manzanilla Solear, I saw how the latest technology has created a machine capable of being worked by one man and doing the job of hundreds in a week.  Sitting in a cab that looks more like the cockpit of a jetliner, full of screens that give 360º vision, the work is done at night when temperatures are lower, meaning the grapes oxidise less between vineyard and presses.

 

These machines cost around a quarter of a million euros and are trucked all over Spain during harvest time, but hand-picking will never be abandoned for the grapes that go to make the best wines. Or at least not until the machines become even more sophisticated than they already are. And although they make take the nostalgia out of the grape harvest, no-one can deny that the economies made ensure the main beneficiary is the wine drinker

 

Comparte esto:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
AJ Linn

AJ Linn

AJ Linn se estableció en España hace más de 40 años tras una abreviada carrera en Inglaterra vinculada entre otras cosas con la importación de vinos. Ha vivido en El Puerto de Santa María y Cádiz, ahora Marbella, y durante las ultimas décadas se ha dedicado a varios negocios, hasta que actualmente se limita a escribir sobre vino, gastronomía, flamenco y el estilo de vida español. Aparte de su columna semanal en el Diario Sur, sus artículos se publican con regularidad en medios de habla inglesa, tanto en España como en el extranjero.

Comments

No Comments Yet! You can be first to comment this post!

Write comment

Your data will be safe! Your e-mail address will not be published. Also other data will not be shared with third person. Required fields marked as *