A good harvest in an unusual year
Here at Padró i Família we’ve just finished what has turned out to be a very good harvest following our earliest start ever on the eleventh of August. Heavy rains during spring meant that we had no option but to bring the harvest forward. For the last month or so, we have been enjoying that beautiful end-of-summer postcard scenery in the villages of the Camp de Tarragona, the agricultural area that surrounds our local vineyards. It is a time when our roads are filled with tractors and their trailers loaded up with grapes and our villages are steeped with those characteristic aromas of harvest, must and a constant grapey breeze.
Our winemaker, Mario Garcia, is happy with the harvest, saying that the grapes that have come in are very good quality and the impact of mildew, a fungus that has caused widespread damage in vineyards here in Catalonia this year, has been minimum. The mildew has only affected some of the Merlot and Tempranillo varieties, causing some of the grapes to dry up with the consequent loss in kilos. Farmers have had a difficult time with the rain though, right up until the harvest, because although light at times it has been constant, meaning they have had to watch the sky closely all year, in order to ensure the vines got the necessary attention and care.
Mario Garcia emphasizes the excellent work carried out this year by grape farmers in the area because thanks to their consistency, in a year as unusual as 2020, with so much water and so much mildew, the harvest has been a good one. In March and April, when Spain and much of the world was in lockdown due to Covid 19 and we had little idea where we were headed, the vines, freshly pruned, were waking up from their winter sleep and starting to bud. Nature followed its course and the grape farmers did not stop either but carried on that vital cycle of vineyard work.
All the grapes that we receive at the Padró family winery, come from vineyards within a radius of 7 kilometres from Bràfim, where we are located, and the neighboring villages of Puigpelat, Alió and Vilabella. We work with a number of different varieties that grow well in this area, Alt Camp, including Macabeo and Xarel·lo which we use to make the zero-kilometer wine that serves as the base wine for our vermouths. These are neutral varieties, ideal for the combination of botanicals we use in our different Padró i Familia vermouths.