Harvest journal: chapter I

The 2021 harvest began on August 11th, harvesting the pinot noir variety, which, as you know, is always the first in Caves Naveran! The harvest has begun, as always in August, and will last until the end of September. However, the preparatory work has been going on for weeks now. The harvest is a very intense and exciting period, because it is the culmination of the cycle, the time to reap the rewards! That’s why we always keep a vintage diary, to record everything that happens. Here are some notes from this diary!

Harvest: the importance of choosing the perfect moment

There is no predetermined date to start harvesting, each year is different and depends on several factors such as the ripening of the grape, the variety (each one has a different cycle) and the geographical and climatic conditions, especially temperature and rainfall. . Well, then, deciding when is the time to harvest is a job that takes time and requires an exhaustive study of the vineyard through the collection of samples of the explained parameters. In addition, the optimal degree of maturation depends on the type of wine or cava that we want to make: are we looking for more acidity, more alcohol? Each wine and each cava has its peculiarities and the know-how of the winemaker makes the difference.

To do this, in Naveran for about two weeks we have been doing a random sampling (to have a homogeneous sample and significant results) for each vineyard. In this sampling we measure the weight of the grape, the probable degree and the acidity, which will tell us when it has reached the degree of maturity we need. We started doing this sampling every four days, but during the last week we have intensified it, since we wanted to follow the evolution closely to choose the perfect moment to harvest!

How does climate change affect the vineyard?

Actually, it is an issue that is acquiring much relevance, since we are increasingly suffering the effects of climate change and not only due to natural disasters, we also have heat waves, droughts, torrential rains … Until now isolated phenomena that each time they occur more frequently. And the vineyard also suffers. Like all fruit, the grape is sensitive to extreme temperatures, to the lack or excess of water … For example, high temperatures accelerate the ripening of the fruit or the lack of water means that we have less production. However, the quality of the grape in dry climates is very good, therefore, we are talking about an affectation in terms of quantity, above all. In addition, the Penedès is a privileged area, thanks to the proximity of the sea and the mountains of Montserrat that soften and regulate the climate. On the other hand, an excess of rain is not good for the harvest either, because it favors the emergence of diseases such as mildew, last year was an example, among other complications.

In any case, the effects of climate change in the coming decades will increase and affect crops significantly, as is already happening in some parts of the world. At Cavas Naveran we have always committed to sustainability, respecting the vineyard as much as possible during the cycle, making the minimum interventions and always using respectful products, and the same during the wine and cava making processes. Our wines and cavas are from our own estate, therefore, the movement of the grapes is done in a very short journey.

A vintage marked by the lack of rain

2021 is a year of drought and, as we have explained, the grape will have a lower weight, due to the lack of rain. Since March it has hardly rained: there is no water and these last weeks the grapes are suffering, although last Saturday 35 liters fell, which was very good for us for the varieties that will come later, such as xarel lo and parellada. However, with pinot and chardonnay we did not arrive in time to collect these liters and we can already say that for these varieties we will have a short harvest. We are convinced that the 2021 harvest of Naveran will give us healthy and high quality grapes, but with much less quantity than usual.

We started with pinot noir!

On August 10, we had the pinot noir at 11.2º and 5.5 in acidity, it was the optimum point of maturation chosen by the winemaker. Therefore, the next day we got going with this variety. Pinot noir is a very delicate variety (and also appreciated!), Among others, because the grapes are very small and compact, and this year even more so! Therefore, at Cavas Naveran we are careful with this variety, which being the first, we can dedicate all the attention it needs. For example, we collect all the Pinot Noir that is destined for Perles Roses by hand, because we want the grape to be completely whole for maceration, which will give it the very special tones that characterize it.

This year, little production but excellent quality

At Naveran we always start with the pinot noir variety. Afterwards, we will continue with the chardonnay, macabeu, merlot, xarel lo, syrah, viognier, parellada and, finally, we will finish with the cabernet sauvignon. We will keep you informed of everything that happens. The truth is that we really want to see how these varieties will develop and what combinations we can make with the blends! Since, as we have said, this year everything indicates that the quality will be excellent!