On October 1st our Quinta Estrada Romano celebrated her first vine harvest! After months of tender loving care, our vineyard produced 250 litres of Vino Tinto. This milestone; however, has been years in the making. It all began late fall 2012, when Geof took his shears and aggressively cut back the tired old vines that had been left untended for over a decade. He went back in the spring of this year and pruned once again. Then came the tedious job of spraying for fungus.
The year before (2012), Geof had attempted to revive the vineyard by spraying the vines using a heavy gear backpack that he had to manually pump to get the spray on the vines. This was no easy feat given that our vineyard wraps around the exterior boundary of our 11-acre farm! This April, I caught Geof ogling a spray unit on wheels at our local Agricola store. He was so enthralled that he asked one of the fellows manning the shop to give him a demonstration. This took over an hour. Why? Because no one could get the engine to start. After countless yanks on the crankshaft, the engine refused to turn over. Finally, after basically taking the engine apart, we had water spraying all over the warehouse, like an uncapped fire hydrant. We thanked the fatigued sales staff for the demo and left convinced that we needed a different option.
Our next stop was our local Husqvarna store. Sitting on the sidewalk was yet another spay unit. This time the demo went like a charm. Within 15 minutes our new mobile spray unit was tucked neatly into the back of Snowy. We thought we had it made in the shade, particularly since this slightly larger engine was less expensive than our previous demo. Little did we know – Geof would need to lug a very heavy cart, loaded with liquid fungus fighter, around the rough terrain of our farm’s circumference! He would repeat this laborious process two more times over the summer.
But, man was it worth it. We watched in glee as our little tiny grapes swelled into beautiful clusters of grapes under the summer heat. It was then a waiting game as we let nature take its course. By the time Geof returned to the farm in September, after 5 weeks in Canada, they were ready for harvest. Indeed, it was a family affair as Manual and his family helped Geof pluck the grapes from their vines. (We have been living in Manual and Liberia’s cottage for the past two years.) Since our adega remains hidden behind our albergue’s dining room wall, Manual (seen in this pic) offered up his wine cellar. Before our very eyes, our harvest turned from a heap of grapes into a flurry of red wine oozing out of our new 250 litre fermenter.
Of course, Geof couldn’t wait for time to take its course. Manual filtered a bottle’s worth of juicy vino tinto and handed it to Geof. This taste test literally rocked Geof’s socks off. Willing to wait for the next bottle, Geof and Manual locked away the fruits of their labour, allowing the fermenter to do its job.
But do not fear, you will be greeted with a glass of Quinta Estrada Romano Vino Tinto when you arrive at the Beautiful Boot next spring.