Health and balance, the main characteristics of an early harvest in La Rioja.
In La Rioja the harvest came earlier than usual, with a large portion of the grapes already harvested. The initial sensations are fantastic, with perfectly healthy clusters and a very good balance between acidity and sugar.
“It is an atypical harvest, as we are finishing at a time when in other years we had not even begun, but the impressions are quite good. The grapes are reaching the winery in very good health, and exhibiting a good balance between sugar and acidity,” explains Marcos Eguren. The selection of clusters begins in the vineyard – with each plot harvested by hand, using small 20-kg boxes – and continues on a double selection table. The fruit has proven to be of high quality this year. Now it is time to begin the elaboration process, with the maceration and first fermentation, ever sure to respect the primary character of the vineyard, which will shape the identity of unique wines that faithfully reflect their origins.
“After a vegetative cycle that has met and even surpassed what would typically characterise a ‘very good’ year, we have to wait and observe the wine’s development during its elaboration before we draw conclusions, but we can say that the fruit is good, and that is a great beginning,” conclude Marcos Eguren.
A team of over 50 people carried out the manual de-stemming of the “La Nieta” grapes, a Tempranillo variety from the property bearing the same name in the Rioja Alavesa region, near Laguardia. On this small vineyard, occupying less than two hectares, nearly 5,000 kilos of grapes are harvested and de-stemmed, one by one, by a group of men and women of all the ages.
The grapes from “La Nieta”, a plot bordering on the vineyards of Viñedos de Páganos, reaches the winery in 20-kilo boxes. A painstaking selection process allows only those grapes in perfect condition, in terms of their maturation, health, and size, to be chosen for the wine’s elaboration, preventing any plant debris or defective grapes from reaching the winery. In this way the grapes reach it with the maximum purity and faithfully reflecting the land from which they proceed, transmitting all its primary qualities.