And we finally finished harvesting, Raquel from DO Terra Alta asked us shortly before we started how we thought this year 2021 would be presented and the answer we gave her was: We believe that it will be a harvest within normality, we generally foresee very good quality, since one of the factors that makes us think in the first place is the ripening process of the grape, the development that is taking place at the end of August is that it develops and advances slowly compared to other years, but always within normal parameters.
This is what we responded to when DOTA consulted us.
If it is true that there were a few days in the middle of August that due to the high temperatures and the wind, factors that influenced a slight dehydration and as a consequence the ripening of the grapes increased more quickly, however it lasted 4 or 5 days, then we had many other "setbacks" that made the 2021 campaign difficult and complicated.
September 15, 2021 will remain in our memory and in that of all the Terra Alta winemakers, especially in Batea and Vilalba dels Arcs.
DOTA textual notice;
"A strong storm accompanied by hail has ruined approximately 2,000 hectares, of which about 800 are vineyards. Garnacha blanca, the emblematic variety of DO Terra Alta, was practically already harvested, but not the red varieties that have been most affected ”.
Si To this we add an episode of intermittent rains and very high humidity has meant that each and every one of the Terra Alta vine growers have had to work against the clock to save the harvest.
We, Celler Arrufí, are processors and producers and we know the importance of the health of the grape to make the wines we want.
We do, with a deep and authentic feeling, a sustainable viticulture, with its own identity and criteria.
Celler Arrufí mainly produces white Grenache, black Grenache and hairy Grenache.
Esteve Arrufí, co-owner of the winery, works and watches, in an impeccable and perfectionist way, the vineyards, they are ecological, sustainable vineyards, with a way of working based on balance. But this year, despite finishing happy with all the difficulties, we have had a very, very complicated vintage.
There are decisive factors in the maturity of the grape, the sugars, the decrease in acidity and the development of the aforementioned phenolic and aromatic compounds to give, among many other characteristics, a unique personality.
In this vintage I can say that climatic factors have intervened a lot, nature always has the last word, we can only try to do things well, there are factors that we cannot control.
Previously, I told Raquel (DOTA) that it seemed like she was getting ahead of herself, but no… it wasn't, because the rain that fell at the beginning of September slowed down the development of maturation, an important factor for the wineries we make.
A grape that is harvested at the perfect time, helps the wines to be more aromatic, more expressive and more Terra Alta, the Grenache is grateful, but you have to be very attentive.
The rains at the end of August, which are generally appreciated despite being in the middle of the season and even more so in a terrain as dry as the Terra Alta, this time they did not help and in successive days we suffered never better from this storm, hail, wind ... Fortunately, factors that occur very little in our region.
We have had it difficult, since we who are winemakers (it is convenient to highlight an important element and characteristic in our winery, the ownership of the vineyards. This condition, among many other benefits for our winery, facilitates the viticultural management of production). We have ... better said, "we must" harvest and pick the grapes at the key moment and with the degree of maturation that together with our winemaker we consider PERFECT to get what we want, some wines ECOLOGICAL AND TERRA ALTA with the highest possible health of the grape and with the minimum intervention as far as the elaboration is concerned. Balance always.
In short, I am left with two aspects, key to me, which have had CELLER ARRUFÍ to define this vintage 2021:
- The movement, the work and the motivation that we bring to try to stop climate change and have a careful respect for the land in all its forms, together with the intense work that has been done in our vineyards to save a vintage that, finally, will be good.
- And second ... when, many times we question the price of a bottle of wine, of the work behind it, of this 2021 vintage for example, of the farms that have not been harvested because Celler Arrufí has considered that they were not suitable to enter our winery, to elaborate what we want, what we intend to offer and transmit, and not everything goes ...