Harvest time. An ancient ritual that repeats, year after year, ever since agriculture allowed humans to leave nomadic life in favor of a sedentary one. This opened the door to an understanding of nature, its cycles and diseases, the effort and techniques required to grow vines.
The time has come to bring in the harvest from our vineyards and estates. Nothing expresses the bond between human beings and nature quite as well. It is a mutual understanding of sorts that demands the best of both partners.
Miguel Torres Maczassek checks on vines in L'Aranyó (DO Costers del Segre) shortly before the harvest
The vine offers its own interpretation of the terroir, and we draw on our experience to extract and bottle this essence, giving it a new life that will always remind us of home. In return, we have to bring dedication, humanity, knowledge and passion to the relationship. All five senses are committed to drawing an emotional map, a sensory geography of the effort that makes the harvest such a special moment.
Mas La Plana vineyard (DO Penedès) at harvest time
At daybreak, we look out at the straight rows of lush and impressive vines standing tall. Framed by the blue sky and ochre earth, the grapes look ripe and ready, perfect, round, glittering with drops of morning dew. The golden glow of the whites and the purple shade of the reds create a mosaic with splashes of green from the vine shoots that remain after shoot thinning.
Soon a rush of vibrant sweetness fills our noses. The must within the plump grapes is waiting impatiently, as though wanting to burst forth and flood our nostrils. The pungent aroma reveals the optimal ripeness of the fruit. By late morning, sharp sweat and strenuous effort call for a well-deserved break.
Chardonnay harvest at the Grans Muralles vineyard (DO Conca de Barberà)
This is when a hush settles over the vineyard. Every so often, the sounds of a soft melody, jokes and laughter drift from the long shadow of an ancient oak where the grape-pickers rest during their lunch break. Their hands are marked by hard work, hands that gesture, in constant motion, adding weight to mundane stories.
In their laps, a small lost cluster of grapes that serves as both dessert and an excellent method of quality control. Sweetness envelops the palate, we note fullness and complexity:
“This will be a good year.”
We head back to work, the earth present and palpable at every step, and we can't help but think of all the unknown people who walked these steps before us. This abstract thought vanishes as we take in the very real weight of the thick clusters. Feeling their weight in our hands is a curiously pleasant sensation. Our fingertips run across their skin as we carefully place the grapes in the basket. This marks the beginning of their journey to the cathedral of wine: the winery.
Sauvignon Blanc harvest at the Fransola vineyard (DO Penedès)
All of our senses, combined with experience, draw a sensory map of our efforts. A human geography based on knowledge and devoted to nature. It is a relationship defined by a delicate balance; a tacit agreement with no need for seal or signature to understand our place on earth and our relationship with the environment. Generation after generation.