Fruits of Labour

What possessed me to wake up at silly o’clock on a Saturday morning, I do not know. Not even young children wake their parents up as early as 5am (I presume).

Alarm bellowing at me indiscriminately of the hour of morning nor knowing how little sleep I’d actually had, I was cajoled out of bed with the promise of wine at the end of my day.

After picking up the gang, we made our way to the train station and boarded the 6:50am to Ronda, where we were heading to help celebrate “La Fiesta de la Vindimia” a grape harvesting festival.

We arrived at Bodega Morosanto, Ronda around 9am where the first part of the tour was to go grape picking. Armed with secateurs we busied ourselves by harvesting the Petit Verdot grapes.

Other groups of people gave it a go but I have to say, TeamGIB would have won gold as we harvested several full crates between us.

Between picking we sampled some of the grapes which were smaller than I imagined the grapes to be but nonetheless they were sweet and delicious as if they had done their best to soak up every last bit of Summer sunshine into their blue-black coats.

Since we’d been up since 5am with a snatch of coffee/breakfast before we left and it already being 11am we were starving.

The advert for the event promised a “desayuno campero”.  We were all really looking forward to a coffee with some spanish toast with olive oil & tomato or zurrapa.
But alas at this vineyard there was no toast, no coffee.  Instead several bottles of wine were opened and plates of Spanish charcuterie and chunky bread were placed abundantly along the table.  Looking at eachother as if to seek approval that we could be drinking the old vino before midday, Miguel, the vineyard owner stared at us and said;

“Cafe y tostada es para maricones – esto es un desayuno de campeones!”

And indeed it truly was a breakfast of champions!  Several glasses of wine later we made our way to continue the tour of the Bodega.

Our second stage in the wine making process was to select the best grapes from our crop and pull out any poor quality/unripened grapes.  After this the grapes are removed from their stalks and pressed to extract all of their sweet juice.  They are then put into vats to ferment.  And then put into barrels to age.  The final colour and flavour of the wine is largely dependent on how toasted the inside of the barrel is.  Different grape varieties are then combined to produce the final product.

The whole day was full of good food and wine, informative and an absolute pleasure to be part of but I have to admit, other than drinking lots of wine, grape-stomping was the highlight for me!

Not only was the day a great day but we then stocked up on several bottles of Morosanto’s Lucio (2010) 75cl bottles as well as their 150cl Magnum.

The train ride back was a clonkingly good one!

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