Claroscuro art winery harvest 2020: An atypical harvest never before seen.
In this article we would like to tell you about the challenges of the 2020 harvest, marked by COVID-19, the consequences of climate change and logistical issues.
Every year is different, each harvest has its peculiarities, however there are some years that we will never forget and 2020 will be one of those.
It was an atypical harvest due to the high temperatures in Mendoza that forced us to bring forward the harvest by about 20 days. In addition to this, we had late frost and a shortage of water.
As a consequence of this, we had to ration the use of irrigation, causing the vineyard greater water stress than normal.
Prior to the implementation of the lockdown regulations in Argentina, 40% of the grapes had already been harvested, which meant making more effort with fewer staff in order to harvest the remaining 60% in time. In this way, we faced new challenges and obstacles, such as the reduction of the number of workers per shift in order to comply with social distancing protocol. We can say that this was one of the most challenging harvests we have had to face due to the extreme care taken and the health of grapes as a consequence of the lack of rainfall.
According to our winemaker Diego Barrera:
“I had never previously thought of harvesting red grapes in the early days of March as we generally start harvesting in mid-April. However, it was one of the best harvests. In terms of quality: we got a healthy grape, a lot of color and structure, with powerful alcohols, and a dreamy PH … ideal for making great oak-aging wines…
Great aging wines will come out of this harvest. Everything happens for a reason. Due to the extreme temperatures, harvesting began earlier because when the COVID-19-related measures were decreed, we had already harvested 40% of the grapes therefore we were able to finish harvesting with fewer employees. In short the harvest was unprecedented due to the social distancing protocol as well as unusual due to the climate. Team work was the key!”.
In our vineyard in Uco Valley, almost all varieties matured at the same time. The grapes had to be harvested and ground against the clock, because each day that passed implied an increase in the sugar level and therefore in the level of alcohol. The grapes harvested by the climatic conditions have thicker skins, so we made short maceration so as not to extract aggressive tannins. Excellent degrees of acidity and very good pH were obtained. Generally, we obtain a PH of 3.9 in our vineyard. In the 2020 vintage, we had a PH of 3.5, which is ideal for the Cabernet Franc. We will have wines with a very good structure, ideal for aging in barrels. In 10 years’ time we will be tasting these wines and remembering many stories from 2020, a year that will not be easily forgotten.
This is what we mean when we invite you to face the comings and goings of life while enjoying a fine glass of Claroscuro wine.