The right vintage?

The elderly Spaniard who lived in this house until his death ten years or so ago grew grapes and made wine. Some of his vines survived the re-construction works by the subsequent owners, the people we bought the house from. His vineyard stood on the spot where our predecessors built the swimming pool. Today there are healthy bunches of fruit, insect-free, one of the few fruiting trees to be successful this year. grapes in july1 4-7-13The grapes are small and green, sour to eat. We are debating whether to make wine, but never having done it before we are a little intimidated. Home wine-making conjures up memories of my brother gathering elderflowers from bushes lining the lanes in East Yorkshire where we grew up, memories of cloudy slightly musty liquid in glass demijohns and one time, an explosion. Elderflower champagne sounded so grand, in the 1960s.
I guess we should leave the grapes on the vine through the summer so they can be sweetened by the sun, I have a vague idea that’s what happens with sauternes. So there is no hurry at the moment. I will ask Pablo but am pretty confident he will tell me to pick the grapes, tread them with bare feet, put them in a barrel and leave them to brew up, bugs, bits of twig and all. Pablo’s answers are always no-nonsense and usually involve non-specialist equipment comprising an ancient plastic container, a length of black twine produced from his pocket, and his mattock!
Next time we go to the agricentro, the agricultural supplies store, I will check out their winemaking section. I am sure they have one, they sell everything for the country from saddles and curry combs to workman’s boots, straw hats, rat poison, spare wheels for wheelbarrows, and miles of black irrigation piping and connectors of every conceivable dimension. It is the kind of place that has everything, but in which it is impossible to find anything thanks to their casual approach to shelf-stacking.grapes in july2 4-7-135 to remember
mayor – elderly
las uvas – grapes
el vino – wine
la parra – vine
un racimo de uvas – a bunch of grapes

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