We have transitioned into the second phase of the harvest. Up until now, we’ve spent a lot of time on the fermentation process, starting with the hand desteming of the grapes by the ladies (pictured), moving onto the cuvas (or large oak tanks) and assisting the grapes/juice/wine/grapes through fermentation. Now that the last of our grapes have arrived from the vineyard, we will be focusing more on pressing grapes and moving the wine into smaller barrels to begin the aging process.
It’s great to be experiencing this whole process first hand. Each week as we move through the harvest, we’re learning and practicing new skills. Though we still have a lot to learn, I think that we’re doing well. Everyone is in need of a vacation and there’s a rumor floating around that we might have an extra day off work on Monday or Tuesday in honor of Chile’s national “workers day.” I’m trying not to get my hopes up, but that sure would be nice. I’ll keep my fingers crossed, we should find out later tonight.
Today world famous wine consultant Michel Rolland and Lapostolle winery owner Madame Alexandra Marnier Lapostolle (of the Grand Marnier empire) will taste the 2012 Clos Apalta that we’ve been pouring our blood, sweat and tears into during this harvest. For those of you unfamiliar with Mr. Rolland, he is the equivalent of a modern day Bacchus, a sort of wine God if you will. Whether or not you like his influence, the power he holds in the wine industry is undeniable.
He consults at over 100 wineries, in over 16 countries around the world. He is a winery owner, consultant, oenologist and wine maker and a very successful one at that. Many wineries, like the one we are working at, trust their wine to his palate in deciding how to blend or proceed with their wine making process to ensure the highest quality and best tasting wine possible. At our winery, Clos Apalta, he works with the very talented Technical and Winemaking Director Jacques Begarie and Senior Winemaker Paola Muñoz.
We recently switched to our round of the night shifts so unfortunately I don’t think we will have the chance to meet either Madame or Michel, but I am excited about the fact that they will both be drinking the samples of Clos Apalta that we prepared for them in the wee hours of the morning (pictured) and have been spending our last month and a half working on. That maybe the closest we come to meeting them. Hopefully they agree that this is the best vintage yet!