Saturday, 18 May 2013

Vintage McLeod

Ah weel!  Ah havae tae say ah’m knackered.  See, this vintage, talk aboot hard work.  Well first there’s the pickin’.  Ah don’t dae much o’ that.  That’s fur Kyle and his team.  My they work hard – credit where credit’s due.  A course, before the pickin’ there’s a’ the decisions that go intae deciding what’s the right time tae bring them in, and what tae bring in an a’ that.  Ah don’t get involved in that much – it’s down tae Christine, Kyle and Alexis - tho’ ah dae check the odd grape tae see it’s ripe enough.  An’, of course if a throw in a wee bit o’ advice, they always listen – yeah right!

Ah dae most of ma work at the receival stage.  The grapes come in in big bins and Kevin (he’s Canadian but he’s OK) drives the forklift.  He tips the grapes intae the press under Alexis’s supervision.  She’s Canadian too (but OK).  She’s the boss so she tells Kevin whit tae do.  There married an’ a’ so Kevin has quite a life o’ it.  Anyhoo there are endless press loads and pressings and the juice is piped intae big tanks fur fermenting.  It’s non-stoap.  Occassionally, there’s a wee bit of spillage and that’s where ah step up and dae ma tasting.  It’s like a final check and if ah gie the nod then it’s all go

Sometimes the grapes go through the de-stemmer crusher tae get rid o’ the stems, before they go in the press.  Bhreagh works this or at least deals with the stems.  She’s a dab hand aroon’ the winery.  She’s Canadian too (Ah know!) and she husnae learned tae spell here name (what’s wi’ all the ‘h’s?)  Ye’d think at her age she’d be able tae spell proper (p-r-o-p-e-r).  Ah know ah’m too funny fur ma ain guid. 

Ah don’t know what it is with a’ they Canadians but at least they all come frae Nova Scotia.  Ah come frae Antiquus Scotia, get it – “Old Scotia”.  So maybe they’re ma rellies frae way back.  Mind, they don’t look like me.

Now, the big joab wi’ the reds is the plunging.  The reds stay on their skins fur three weeks afore they go in the press.  This gies time for the skins tae gie the wine colour but, ye huvtae stir the mix.  They ca’ it plunging because, tae begin, the grape skins form a cap at the top of the vat and ye huvtae plunge through that tae get the skins tae mix wi’ the juice.  It takes about three weeks for the skins tae become suspended in the juice an’ then ye can press it and pit that intae vats or barrels tae let the fermentin’ begin.

The plungin’s hard work so the young folks, Alexis, Bhreagh and Kevin dae maist o’ it.  Ah entertain them by chasin’ stones fur them – just tae take their minds aff the hard work.  The old lady does a bit tae help but the big yin is useless - and notable by his absence.

Alexis and Christine had a wee pow wow, not to be confused  wi’ a wee bow wow (me!).  They declared the vintage a success with really good flavours comin’ through.  So that’s good

Roll oan the prunin’ – but furst maybe a wee break.  Aye, gies a break!!

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