Mid-september is, to many, a key time to get back to the normal rhythm of life, days grow shorter and we tend to set new goals while we enjoy the last rays of summer and its neverending light. For many others, those grape growers who are always checking their vineyards, the grape’s health and its hardly perceptible but constant evolution, the date of the year arrives: the harvest of the fruit to which they have dedicated so much time, effort and love.
These are days of high activity, during which only those who dare to defy slopes and hardly accessible plots are aware of how difficult the process of harvesting can be. But these are also days of good mood, friendship and generosity among all the people involved in this hard process. We take a look at Viña Costeira’s 2018 harvest, which has just ended now.
The harvesting process: how is the grape picked?
One of the wine experts at Viña Costeira, Manu Castro, explains the harvesting process: “although it is slow and laborious, it is worth it because of the extraordinary quality of the harvested grape.”
The harvest of our vineyards (San Cibrao, Saa, Coio Branco, Gomariz, Rioboo y Leiro) is carried out by our own staff and managed by the viticulture manager Susana Gulín and her team, who coordinate different participant groups.
To be more specific, the harvest is carried into 18kg little boxes to the winery to be processed as soon as possible. Then, the received grapes are destemmed, crushed and pressed, in some cases including a little time for maceration of the grape skin together with the must to extract the components of its skin. Once the must is obtained, it will be left to rest for a period of at least 24 hours, to later undergo the debourbage and carried to the fermentation deposit.
An excellent quality vintage
Currently, the musts are in fermentation process, where the must is turned into wine. The yeast turn the sugars in the grape into alcohol and secondary components that give the wine its singular characteristics and unique personality. Some wines are already in the last phases of the process, starting to show their colors. In any case, according to Manu Castro, “first impressions are really good, the 2018 harvest is expected to be of excellent quality.”
Andrés Rodríguez, Viña Costeira’s Chairman, is on the same page: “The quantity expectations were not favourable due to the mildew problem, and it was true. The quantity is similar to last year’s, which was affected by the freeze. Nevertheless, although viticulturist have had to put a lot more of effort into the selection of the grape, the quality of the wine will be very good this year.”
2018, Viña Costeira’s most special day
For the cooperative Viña Costeira and everyone who make possible its day to day, this year has been of special relevance. It’s its 50th Anniversary and multiple initiatives have kicked off to commemorate this date and boost both Costeira and their partners visibility. As an unexpected gift, the prize to “Best Winery in Spain 2017” by the Verema awards was the icing on the cake for its trajectory and all the activities organized through the year.
For Viña Costeira’s Chairman, Andrés Rodríguez, it is being a “very intense year in which we continue giving value to the quality of our wines. An evidence of it are the numerous awards we have received in the competitions we attend.”
Of course, we keep on organizing the “Momentos Extraordinarios Costeira” (Costeira Extraordinary Moments), the known series of musical concerts in the north of Spain, cultural, gastronomic and sports collaborations, on top of a continued presence on the street, boosted by the work of strategic areas in the winery.
First cooperative in Galicia with collective insurance for their viticulturists
One of the most recent news is Viña Costeira’s subscription to a collective insurance policy that will provide coverage for 600 viticulturists and a production of 4.9 millions of kilograms of grapes, whose goal is to invigorate the production and support the population in rural areas.
For Andrés Rodríguez, this is “a crucial step towards the sector’s professionalization, which will contribute to reduce the people’s departure from the vineyard and the rural areas in general.” “It’s a way to encourage viticulturists, guarantee their income and allow for them to continue their activity, apart from extreme atmospheric phenomena, more and more common.”
Medium-term challenges: viticulturist reference and viticulturist rejuvenation
To provide 2018’s activity with continuity and boost the visibility of one of the exemplary wineries in Galicia, some challenges will set the pace medium-term wise for Viña Costeira. Andrés Rodríguez points three out: increasing sales for added value products, specially national and exportation ones (best grapes and best wines), increase the visits to the winery and vineyard, with Pazo de Toubes opening as a milestone and the viticulturist profile rejuvenation (more and more young people are joining in the viticulture).
Starting from the last trimester of the year, there are still some surprises that will contribute to keep making 2018 an unforgettable year for the Costeira family, made up by more than 600 viticulturist partners who make of each day an “extraordinary moment.”