Each vineyard has its own identity and it is, therefore, important to treat each one individually. We plough a little or a lot, depending on the amount of airing and ventilation that a particular soil type needs, and we thin the vine leaves a little or a lot, depending on the amount of ventilation that each grape variety needs. We carry out all of these tasks in accordance with celestial influences (moon, planets) to respect each appropriate biodynamic state.
Pruning. This is where the life cycle starts. The vines rest after harvest. Winter. Now is the time to think about the next harvest. To do that, we need to start pruning the vines. Each variety is pruned differently. The next harvest will depend upon how the vines were pruned, and so it must be done with the utmost care.
Once spring is fully underway, the vines start to bud. In order to air the grapes and allow the sunlight to ripen them properly, we need to eliminate some leaves and buds so that the grapes can develop as healthily as possible. This is known as green pruning. From this point onwards, we wait for harvest. During this time, we may remove some grapes, especially during years when the yield is exceptionally high. We also monitor the vines closely to ensure that there no diseases flourish until harvest time.
The time has come. Harvest. We only pick the grapes when they have reached the perfect point of ripeness following a careful technical and taste testing of the grapes in the vineyards.
Once the harvest is over, the vineyards begin to change colour and just as one cycle ends, another begins. The hectic summer months give way to months of tranquillity, when we cut the weeds and grasses down in order to maintain the vineyards until pruning, when the new cycle will start all over again.
PruningThe cycle starts here
This is the process which starts the life cycle of the vine. Pruning consists of cutting the spurs of the vine so that it will grow and yield correctly. Each grape variety is pruned in a different way because they have their own unique characteristics and needs. It is at the time of pruning when we determine whether or not the grapes from this vine will be used to make base wine for cava or still wine for the DO Penedès.
Green pruningAiring the vines
Green pruning or thinning is carried out during the months of spring. It involves the removal of some vine leaves and buds to enable the grapes to breathe better and gain better ventilation. Green pruning varies from variety to variety, and also depends upon where the vineyard is situated and its orientation, because microclimate plays a big part in the ripening of the grapes. Therefore, these factors determine whether or not the grapes need more sun or less sun, or more or less ventilation.
HarvestingTime to pick the grapes
We start to pick the first Chardonnay grapes toward the end of August and we pick the last Petit Verdot grapes at the beginning of October. We decide when to pick after our oenologist has carried out a series of tests in the laboratory to ascertain the pH level, the acidity and the probable sugar level. Once we are satisfied with the results of these tests, we then taste the grapes, paying special attention to the pulp, the grape skin and the grape seeds, especially in the case of the red grapes. Finally, we pick the grapes. We do this in the very cool early hours of the morning to avoid oxidisation and to respect the ripening times of each variety to the utmost.
Vine treatmentsMildew, powdery mildew (oidium) and grapevine moth
We practise organic and biodynamic farming methods, and so in order to combat two of the three most common vine diseases - mildew and powdery mildew (oidium) - we use very low concentrations of copper and sulphur as regulated by the CCPAE (Catalan Council of Organic Production). In addition to this, we apply a variety of biodynamic preparations containing silica such as preparation 501, which helps to reduce the amount of copper and sulphur that we need to use. In order to combat the grapevine moth, we use pheromones to sexually confuse it and prevent it from laying eggs on the grapes.