The Winery |
At FINCA LA ESTACADA, unlike other wineries which buy in grapes and have specific dates when they open to the public, we can organise harvesting based on the varieties and types of wine we wish to produce. In fact, our harvest lasts around 2 months. We begin at the end of August, harvesting Merlot, and end in late October with Cabernet, as each variety has a different ripening process and needs to be harvested at different times. During these two months there may even be days when no grapes are harvested, because there are no plots in which conditions are absolutely perfect for cropping.
The first factor to be taken into account when picking grapes that are ideal for wine production is to choose the right moment to begin harvesting. In this case, the different vineyards that belong to FINCA LA ESTACADA are closely monitored to see if the vines have reached their maximum degree of ripeness, not only with regard to their fermentation (their Baumé scale or sugar content), but also their polyphenolic ripeness. Traditionally, this factor was not taken into consideration, but today is closely controlled by enologists, as it is the parameter that makes it possible to produce wines with great structure and body.
At FINCA LA ESTACADA we pick grapes manually and mechanically. Plastic boxes with a capacity of 20 kilos are used, as they ensure completely sterile conditions and ensure that the grape reaches the winery practically intact. After reaching the winery the grapes are carefully selected, and then fall by their own weight from a conveyor belt into stainless steel vats with a capacity of 4000 kilos.
During the 2003 harvest a picking machine was purchased with the latest features, which not only makes it possible to ensure that the vineyards are harvested at the right moment due to its speed, but also that the grapes reach the winery almost instantly. This undoubtedly favours the quality of the wine we then produce. Special attention is also focused on ensuring that all of the utensils used in the process are clean and in perfect condition, in order to prevent any foreign bodies from affecting the quality of the grape.
The speed of this process is also helped by the fact that most of the vineyards are close to the facilities of FINCA LA ESTACADA. All of these factors are designed to ensure that the grapes reach the winery as intact and as clean as possible, so that they do not lose any sugar, any of their polyphenolic content, or that premature fermentation does not occur.