BODEGAS LAUS (SOMONTANO) HARVEST 2011
FINCA BACHIMAÑA (100 Hectares at 700 metres altitude) The 2011 harvest at Bodegas Laus started on Friday the 19th of August: this is a “normal” start-up date for our area (Somontano), although the climatic conditions during the year indicated a significant advancement of the harvest that didn’t occur in the end. In fact, the month of April was exceptionally dry and hot (about 5°C+ above historical average temperatures), with more typical climatic conditions for the month of May. This, coupled with the good level of moisture in the soil after the heavy rains of winter - and especially in March - led to an advancement of the flowering of the vines of about two weeks. The flowering is usually a few days before April 23rd but this year at that time the shoots were already 30 centimetres long. At that point, the year was so advanced climate-wise that we also had to advance the treatment processes. May temperatures were also higher than usual (about 3°C+), so that the flowering of the vines took place about ten days early. Since June was slightly warmer than normal too (1º C+), the onset of the ripening was accelerated. In early July, the most likely date for the beginning of the harvest was predicted for around the10th August.
HARVESTING AT NIGHT, BODEGAS LAUS However and surprisingly, the average temperature in July (especially during the second half) and during the first half of August was significantly lower than usual! The second half of August on the other hand was very warm with very high temperatures. Consequently, the beginning of harvest was delayed until August 19th although initially we thought it would begin earlier. The total amount harvested by Bodegas Laus was similar to last year. The sanitary quality of the grapes has been excellent and the slow maturation resulted in musts with excellent acidity and aromas, as well as high colour intensity in the reds. The first variety of grapes harvested was the Chardonnay (19th of August) and Gewurztraminer (22nd of August). These two types of grapes were in a perfect state of healthy and maturity thanks to their advanced vegetative process. They were then followed in a phased manner by the harvesting of different red grape varieties during the first weeks of September (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Tempranillo).
Unlike the 2010 harvest, this year we started two weeks earlier. This has been due to variable temperatures in the Somontano in the previous months. A cool summer with extreme heat at the end was also marked by poor rainfall. The grape harvest was carried out in the time period between August 19th to September 22nd and was concentrated in the Bachimaña vineyard (near the village of Huerta de Vero, 100 hectares of vineyards planted at 700 metres) and in Almunietas (the vineyard around the Laus winery) as well as in vineyards in Adahuesca and Laluenga. During this time more than 50 people - between field workers and technicians - worked tirelessly day and night to harvest the fruit of our labour and justify the hard work during the entire year. This year has been one of the most stellar harvests so far; the vines and grapes were treated and handled with great care during the entire year. The main objective was to select carefully the exact moment of optimal ripening so that our resulting wines could have a superior fruit character and complexity. These differentiating features are becoming a trend for the wines of Bodegas Laus, with good acceptance on the part of wine lovers that makes us one of the most notorious growers and wine makers of the Somontano. According to Jesus Mur, our winemaker, “It has been an early harvest, about one week earlier than the normal cycle and just over 10 days sooner than the 2010 harvest (that was itself a late harvest). The rain fall in spring coincided with the flowering of the shoots, so the plants underwent good vegetation. It also appears, due to the excellent canopy management, that the grape bunches had good shadow helping to achieve good acidity. For this reason the wines will be fresher and fruitier than in other years. Overall very good quality is expected, lots of fruit and finesse in the wines, with good concentration”.
HARVESTING SYRAH AT BODEGAS LAUS