This year Mother Nature was good to most of us. There were a few unfortunate vineyards that suffered dearly from a freak hailstorm in June, but this the game you play living in a micro climate zone. We have yet to plant vines on C'an Do, that will begin in spring 2015, but the almond trees we have been lovingly reviving were bursting with almonds. Kilos and kilos of almonds have occupied us for weeks, the clack clack clack of cane against almond trees resonating in the morning air. We have a bumper crop this year, enough to sell, and husks aplenty for color experiments.
The husks this year have a peachy rose tone, promising interesting color. After removing, I follow the standard routine of creating an infusion, husks placed in a glass jar and left in the sun to heat up. It is still quite hot in September, no further steps are needed to heat the water. Then it is a matter of a day or two, sometimes three, allowing the color to manifest in the bath, before experimenting with fabric soaks.I also make a bath with the hard shell. The colors are similar, but I am interested in extracting subtle distinctions.
Without a doubt, however, the central character in this months adventures is the grape. I am collecting skins from a variety of grapes, and working with various winemakers to catalog colors particular to their vineyards. This week saw the harvesting of the white grape, and the beginning of merlot and syrah. I have begun baths for the macabeu grape from the Monstant of Antoine Touton & Fredi Torres, harvested in El Molar, the white garnacha, and red syrah and merlot from Bodegas Mas Alta, and the white garnacha from Ficaria Vins. The baths are prepared the same day the skins become available, and will sit for a minimum of one to two days.
Stay tuned throughout the month as the vendimia gets going full steam to include the cariñera and red garnacha grapes, as well as the results from the variety of items I am experimenting with. I will be comparing colors from the same grape variety taken from different vineyards. Should be a fun, wild month!