Grape-picking in Comando G: Fine wines / high class work

We’ve set off for the Sierra de Gredos to pick grapes for a few days with Fer and Dani, components of Comando G and Daniel Landi a winery devoted to fine precision work. Grenache wines from grapes grown in impressive places, full of different microclimates, soils and types of exposure. A kaleidoscope of variables that seek to obtain a fruit at just the right point of ripeness capable of giving the wine a long life and fineness.

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All the work done throughout the year in the vineyard comes to a head in these months of September and October. So these are times for sampling and observing. In the winery the work is meticulous. A lot of human labor goes into selecting the best bunches and grapes, with well-selected cement and wooden tanks, in the search for different properties, and very little machinery. All this to ensure that the work with the grapes is as craftsman-like as possible.

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The work is planned the previous afternoon, by carrying out samplings of different plots to organize the teams of pickers. That afternoon we went to the vineyards of Rozas with Fernando, while Dani went to Avila to sample the Cantos del Diablo and Fin del Mundo plots. Our tour focused on analyzing the small vineyards that make up Rozas 1 Cru. a tour aimed at discovering the general condition of the vineyard and collecting samples to analyze in the winery. When evening fell we went to the Grand Cru Las Umbrias, with the sunset bathing the vineyards in the last rays of the sun. A magical place, high up and surrounded by olive and chestnut trees. A soil made up of degraded granite, with some clay and quartz. Solitude and nature in its purest form. The vineyard was in a perfect state of health, although it still lacked a certain maturity. The slow evolution provides the perfect conditions for the grape to develop more complex aromatic components and also gain complexity on the palate.

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Back in the winery, all the samples are analyzed using a chemical and organoleptic analysis. All the grapes from the different plots and their musts are tasted in order to assess the whole vineyard in a scientific and sensorial way. All this to ensure that they are harvested at the perfect moment, with the only requirement being to accompany the grape in its process, to ensure that it becomes a great wine.

With the results obtained, the alarm went off. Cantos del Diablo, a Grand Cru by Dani Landi, needed to be harvested the very next day. Emotion and butterflies in the stomach for what was awaiting us the next day. At dinner we drank the 2016 Cantos vintage so that we could imagine the intentions and the goals they have to squeeze as much as possible out of this plot. Honesty, a light structure and tints of great classic wines that emulate the Burgundian winemakers.

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The alarm clock rang at 6:30 in the morning, and still in the dark we drove through several valleys and communities, Madrid, Ávila and Toledo on a route that took about 35 min. The heart of Gredos is easily divided between these 3 communities. It was still dark when we arrived at the vineyard located in the Tietar Valley, and with the first rays of sun we began the harvest. Moments of concentration followed, in order to ensure that nothing could go wrong, and an excellent atmosphere due to the perfect sanitary condition with which the site was harvested. While we continued cutting, the full boxes were transported to the winery for a meticulous selection. The selection lasted 12 hours. Little by little during the afternoon the winepress kept filling up while Dani treaded it as it went along, and the work in the cellar continued while Fer and Dani returned to the ritual of sampling and listening the different places. The day ended around ten o’clock at night, with the last boxes of Cantos del Diablo coming in.

Harvesting time is experienced at a frantic and passionate pace in Cadalso. A host of variables, and many pieces that need to come together so that each day matches the field work with the winery. Comings and goings through the different valleys that make up Gredos, and culminating in an excellent dinner, with the whole team uncorking bottles and becoming a family ready to face another day. Step by step, seeking to make the best grenaches in the world.

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