Harvest period in Cambados - Albariño
Update August 1, 2020
The Santiago de Compostela tourist office recommended that if we had a chance we should be sure to visit the town of Cambados, "It is the center of wine activity in the Rias Baixas." ?? We packed our bags and left our Parador in Pontevedra, heading towards Cambados for a day trip before heading south towards Madrid. This turned out to be a great recommendation. Our day in Cambados was pleasant and exciting. However, if you are not a wine lover, the trip might not be that impressive.
Cambados is on the Atlantic coast, and it was a great ride as we followed the coast from Pontevedra to Cambados. Everything was green in the area - the hills, the fields and the vineyards; we were in green Spain. As we approached the city, we took a few side roads and spotted workers harvesting grapes. Grape picking in the Rias Baixas is so different than in Napa Valley or anywhere in the California wine country.
The pace is slow and methodical. In California, workers literally run with their containers, toss the grapes in a ton bin, then rush to fill their boxes. Here, workers have a bin that they fill and then leave it on the ground. The containers are picked up later, placed on pallets and brought to the cellar on small trucks.
In the Rias Baixas, grape pickers do not have to bend down or lie down to pick the grapes, which is unique to this region. All the clusters are above them. All the vines are raised above the ground. Rias Baixas is a soggy and humid wine region, and the high trellis system protects the grapes from rotting.
Martin Codax - Cave Coopérative
We passed a cellar, Bodega Martin Codax. The crush was at its peak in this cellar. The trucks arrived with pallets of grapes which were then positioned on conveyor belts where the bins were unloaded and sent to the equipment for de-stemming and crushing.
Martín Códax is a cooperative winery, with over 1,400 small vineyard plots cultivated by 550 families around Cambados. As we watched, several individual growers came to the winery with their harvest. One was a woman who pulled into a small truck with a pallet of grapes. I asked if I could take a picture of her. She was so proud of the grapes. Her face filled with joy as she picked up a bunch of grapes to show it to us. "Aquí, pruébalos, no tienen químicos, son dulces y deliciosos." ("Here, taste them. They have no chemicals; they are sweet and delicious." ??)
Cambados is a wine town, and during the harvest, the whole village is famous.
There are a lot of vinotecas or wine merchants, and they are all dedicated to Albarino wine. If you are visiting Santiago de Compostela, consider a day or two trip to this beautiful region that loves their Albariño wine.
Martin Codax Albariño
Martin Codax Albariño wine is widely available in the United States. The wines are imported by the Gallo family. BevMo and Total Wine stores offer the entry-level Martin Codax Albariño for around $ 15. You might want to try a drink while reading our blog. Thank you!
If you’ve never made wine before or you simply don’t have any of the equipment or ingredients any longer then you could purchase one of our bundles. These bundles allie all the required equipment along with your prefered wine coffret so that you can have everything delivered to your door and just get started. The Wineworks Superior Starter Bundles are a great choice if you want to keep the equipment budget down but still choose the quality of wine you’d like to go for. Whereas, the Wineworks Luxury Starter Bundles offer a better quality equipment pack and still let you choose from a great choice of wine packs.
The two most important aspects of making wine are Cleanliness and Temperature. Firstly remember everything that comes into contact with the wine should be cleaned and sterilised ( see below ). Secondly maintain a constant temperature between 21-26°C ( 69-79°F ). It is much better to be on the cool side and constant than hot one minute and cold the next. Airing cupboards are definitely no, no’s. ( See below )
Clean and sterilise all equipment. Here’s a selection of Sterilisers you can use and if you not quite sure which steriliser to go for then you can take a look at our Beginners Wine Making Part 1 - Cleaning, Sterlising
Wineworks Superior wines : These usually take 10-15 days to ferment, and a further week to clear. Again the wine can be drunk immediately but we recommend ageing it 4 weeks but you can leave it up to 12 months. The time you will leave it will depend very much on your stocks. So get plenty built up. The reds benefit more than the whites with ageing. Certain packs ( see the list below ) are suited more to the experienced wine maker and take around 4 weeks to ferment and then left for a further 2 weeks. These products does really benefit from ageing. All the kits we list in this section require little ageing.
As it’s new to you it will probably take in all 2 hours for your first batch. However, once you are used to it 1 hour is about the maximum amount of time needed. We would also point out bar the bottling side; it takes just as long to make 6 bottles as it does to make 30 bottles, so we strongly recommend you make the larger quantity. After all 6 bottles doesn’t go very far as we said before !
From our experience it is much better to maintain a constant temperature than a fluctuating one. We suggest 21-26°C ( 69-79°F ), although if it is cooler than this, it is not a problem, it just takes slightly longer to ferment. If you can’t maintain this then we supply three different forms of heating equipment : Brew Belt / Heat BeltThis is a simple insulated electric cable that wraps round your conteneur and provides a gentle heat. It is very souple and extremely easy to use. Heat Tray ( 4 demi/5 Gallon Fermenter ) This is like a flat tray that provides a gentle continuous heat that goes under the fermenter. Immersion HeaterThis drops into the container, through the bung and can be thermostatically controlled to maintain the juste temperature. Similar to a fish tank heater. All these can be added to our starter kit packages. See our scène showing the genres of heating equipment available for your fermentation.
It is important to clean
If you’ve made it this far, hopefully understanding a bit of what we’ve said, then you’ll want to know how much it will cost to get started ! As you may have noticed, we’ve put together a couple of equipment kits which include everything you need, and take the confusion out of buying. You can make your first 30 bottles of Wine for approximately £65. 00. That’s all in ( Equipment