A better-than-expected harvest
A dry summer, with high temperatures for many hours led us to believe that the harvest would be reduced and that some parameters, such as acidity, would not be as desired.
However, nothing could be further from the truth! In the end we harvested about the same as in other years. This is because we are becoming more and more familiar with the land, what it needs and when. We had to irrigate at certain times to ensure the correct development of the vines, while looking for balance and above all, to maintain a living soil.
As we have already mentioned on other occasions, prevention is key in organic farming. We decided to remove the cover crops earlier than usual because, given the forecast of a continued lack of water, they could be too much competition for the vines when it comes to capturing resources.
At a certain point, the plants became blocked and they closed stomata. This seemed to indicate an early harvest but it finally began on the usual dates and fifteen days later than initially expected for the 2022 harvest. At Menade we always opt for early harvests to maintain the acidity and the wildest of primary aromas.
The ripening periods were not homogeneous so it was necessary to choose the optimal time to harvest each plot and each specific area of the vineyard. It has been a strange campaign due to the weather this year, “one of the strangest harvests of our lives,” say the Sanz brothers, but relaxed as the weather has been good.
The grapes arrived at the winery in a perfect condition, very healthy and well balanced in terms of alcohol content, sugars, pH, and acidity. The fermentations, using native yeasts as always, have been fast and therefore the wines will be on the market soon. In warm years like this one, the wines are rounder sooner.
With the high temperatures, the Sauvignon Blanc wines have a more moderate aromatic expression, but very with a full-bodied and delicious mouthfeel. The Verdejo wines also have ripe aromas, anise, fresh apple and a broad, oily mouthfeel, with a very interesting mineral finish.
Looking ahead to the next campaign
With the harvest completed and while the work in the winery continues, we are already thinking about the next harvest.
On the other hand, we are analyzing all the data we have from 2022: when the vines sprouted, what treatments we have done and we are also examining the soil to decide which cover crops to choose and how to fertilize.
For the moment, we have planted the rows with green fertilizer and, as cover crops, we will probably opt for peas which provide nitrogen and oxygenate the soil, and, to release it, a mixture of mustard and clovers.