To be honest, I’ve no spare time left during the wine harvest, and even less to keep track of the social media. But the little I’ve seen has shown me a fanciful picture of the harvest: The sun setting or rising over picturesque vineyards, boxes of freshly picked grapes without a leaf in sight, seasonal workers grinning at the camera and proud winemakers, all in spotless clothes, myself included, and drinking a toast among the vines. In other words, such a romantic and bucolic scene.
I’m not saying that this isn’t all true, but there is so much more to it.
The wine harvest is really crazy, completely crazy. I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that you’ll hear God’s name more times during these days than at any other time of the year. I don’t mean to offend anyone with this. I’m merely telling you about my experience as a winemaker on days when I end up both exhausted and grateful in equal measure.
For the rest of the year, our trust is placed on the winegrower and in this area, our job as wine producers is to keep it under control. But we also have to take care of many other tasks: trips from one end of the world to another, with a bag full of stories and wine to share with good wine lovers; planning investments and improvements for the winery; coming up with new brand and marketing ideas to help sell our wines… In short, activities that will help us to improve and gain a good position in the extremely competitive wine market. This is our day-to-day job until the end of August when we’ve got our boots back on the ground and an eye on the sky.
“When will the wine harvest start this year? “When will the wine harvest end this year? The same questions and answers year after year and they are key to our future but never depend on us. Because the best quality of the grape at harvest will be down to the weather, to the sky, to something that is completely beyond our control. And there is little, in fact nothing, that we can do to get the weather on our side: it’s completely out of our hands.
After 11 days of harvest I’m so exhausted that I’ll even consider passing on my job to someone else, but then I imagine someone somewhere in the world enjoying a glass of FERRATUS: it doesn’t lessen the exhaustion in any way, but it does give me a boost to keep going and it makes me happy.
María Luisa Cuevas