Saturday, April 5, 2014

Malbec Harvest, Argentina

This past week I was able to harvest Malbec grapes which is the signature grape of Mendoza, Argentina. Malbec's original home is in Cahors, France and has found its second home here. Here is a quote that gives a good synopsis of Malbec and Argentina terroir from Laura Catena's book, Vino Argentino:

"The ancient collections of gorgeous Malbec varietal rootstocks, perfectly adapted to our climate, exist because of the multigenerational selection process they have undergone. And it is this historic understanding of our privileged Andean terroir that allows us to make profound and distinctive wines. The dry, cool, sunny high-altitude climate; the well-drained, not-too-fertile soils; and the spectacularly well-adapted Malbec grape combine to make a wine with bright, big-fruit aromas; rich, concentrated, silky tannins; and a sense of place."  

The viticulture manager Daniella, kindly lent me her pruning scissors twice this week so I could experience the Mendoza harvest!!

First, select a row

Begin harvesting
 Remove leaves covering the grapes with your hands
Then, you are left with a bare looking root and canes
Next, pick up your full bucket of Malbec grapes......

....pause, take a look at the Andes Mountains
Run your bucket over to the harvest truck that will take the grapes to the winery
Finally, collect this coin for every bucket you harvest and hand them in at the end of the day for payment

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