Vendimia nocturna con González Byass/ The Night Harvest with González Byass


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Hacía mucho que no me levantaba a las 5 de la mañana pero ese día es lo que tocaba.  Nuestro amigo y Sherry Explorer Honorario, Pepe Argudo nos había invitado a la vendimia nocturna de González Byass en el Pago de Macharnudo.  Fuimos en representación de Discover Sherry Nieves Sierra y Vicky Miller.  Nos habían citado a las 6:30 en la Bodega Las Copas y allí nos encontramos con periodistas y otros compañeros blogueros.  Nos pusimos en marcha.

It had been a long time since I had risen from my bed at 5 in the morning, but that day it was on my agenda.  Our friend and Honorary  Sherry Explorer,  Pepe Argudo,  had invited us to the González Byass’ night harvest at the Pago de Macharnudo.  We, Nieves Sierra and Vicky Miller, went on behalf of Discover Sherry.  We were asked to arrive at the Las Copas bodega at 6:30 a.m.  We arrived and met up with other journalists and blogger friends. And we were on our way.

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Habíamos oído hablar mucho de la vendimia nocturna pero nunca habíamos ido.  Cuando llegamos era noche cerrada se veían luces que se movían entre los liños.  Ya cuando nos acercamos vimos a los vendimiadores trabajando.  Comenzaron su trabajo a las tres de la mañana.  Observándolos me parecían como si interpretaran un baile mágico.  Su luz en la frente iluminaba los racimos que iban cortando con especial cuidado, con mimo, con cariño.  No había pausa, iban avanzando por el liño hasta llenar su caja roja que entonces cargaban al hombro y llevaban a un contenedor especial donde se depositaba la uva y vuelta a empezar.

We had heard a lot about the night-time harvest but we had never gone to see it.  When we arrived it was still pitch black, but we could see the lights in the distance as they moved  in between the vineyard´s rows.   When we got closer we could see the harvesters hard at work.  They began working at three in the morning.  As we watched them, it seemed as if they were engaged in a magical dance.  The head-lights were illuminating the grape bunches that were being cut with the utmost of care and with coddling affection.  There was no break.  They would progress along each row until they filled their red boxes which they then carried, on their shoulders, to a special container.  There they would deposit their grape bunches and return to work.

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Salvador Guimerá está a cargo de todas las viñas de la bodega y nos explicó todo al detalle.  Unos 28 trabajadores cortarán desde las 3 de la madrugada hasta las 8 de la mañana unos 700 kgs de uvas cada uno.  El hacerlo de noche ayuda a que la uva llegue en perfectas condiciones al lagar sin que el sol las dañe o empiecen a fermentar.  Estábamos en la Viña La Racha donde nace el fino Tío Pepe.  Estas uvas vendimiadas a mano son muy especiales, serán las que una vez seleccionadas a mano, despalilladas y prensadas, se convertirán en el mosto que rociará las soleras fundacionales del fino Tío Pepe.

Salvador Guimerá manages all of the González Byass vineyards and he explained the harvest to us in great detail.  Around 28 workers who worked from 3 a.m. to 8 a.m., each gathered about 700 kilos of grapes.   Harvesting at night insured that the grapes arrived to the wine press in an optimal condition, avoiding damage from exposure to the sun which would result in an undesired fermentation.  We were at the La Racha vineyard where Tío Pepe Fino Sherry is born.  These manually-harvested grapes are very special.  They will be sorted by hand, de-stemmed and pressed, converting them into the grape must which will eventually find its way into the Tío Pepe solera barrels.

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Nos acompañó también Antonio Flores, el enólogo de la bodega que nos explicó los pasos del mosto hasta llegar a la botella. Pudimos ver la uva palomino, tocarla y disfrutarla con nada menos que una copita de Leonor.  Saludamos al dron que sobrevuela la viña asegurándose de que todo sale a la perfección.

We were also accompanied by Antonio Flores, the Bodega´s enologist.  He explained all of the steps that would be taken to convert the grape must into the final and bottled product.   We were able to get up close to the Palomino grape, touch it and we enjoyed doing so with nothing less than a sherry glass filled with Leonor Palo Cortado sherry. We waived to the drone which was flying above the vineyard and making sure that everything was carried out to perfection.

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Todos atentos, escuchando de los expertos, aprendiendo, captando ese amanecer maravilloso en la viña.

We were all focused on listening to the experts, learning, and capturing that early morning sunrise over the vineyard.

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Acabamos en la Viña La Canariera donde desayunamos y pasamos un buen rato charlando con los amigos de esta magnífica experiencia.  Como recuerdo unas uvas y una botella de Tío Pepe, el principio y el final, de la uva a la botella del vino famoso en el mundo entero: Tío Pepe.

We ended up at the  La Canariera vineyard where we had breakfast and had a great time amongst friends, talking about our magnificent adventure.  As a memento, we were graciously given some Palomino grape bunches and a bottle of  Tío Pepe.  It represented the beginning to the end, that is – from the grape to the bottle of wine that is known throughout the world as Tío Pepe.

¡Gracias por esta experiencia maravillosa!

Thank you for a wonderful experience!

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Categories: Bodegas & Vineyards / Bodegas y viñasTags: , , , , ,

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