After how ever many months lockdown, home schooling, summer holidaying at home we found ourselves with a bit of a conundrum. The girls Swedish passports had all run out during the time in quarantine. Luckily for them they have dual citizenship and their other passports were all within limits. As the embassy in Madrid seams overwhelmed by the COVID-19 we could only book a time there to get a new passport for October the earliest, so now we find ourselves on a flight to Copenhagen. We are all fully masked up to the eyeballs! Hopefully we will be able to take the train over to Sweden from there as tomorrow morning we are booked in with the police station in Lund to get our new passports! In this Corona time it’s all touch and go as nobody knows for sure how things work and if we will be allowed to travel through Denmark to get to Sweden, or even worse, to travel back from Sweden to get to the airport in Denmark and fly home on Thursday, only time will tell.
The last couple of weeks in paradise have been rather full on. As the wine harvest has started and we have 10 horses in full work, there are many early mornings to be had!
The first grapes to be picked where the Pinot Noir. At first we didn’t think we would get many grapes as the vines are only 2 years old. We couldn’t see any grapes but that was only because they were hiding under the protective plastic sleeve that covered the plants. So last Saturday we finally decided to start picking them. The work was way hard, mostly because the protective sleeves aka “the condoms” had to be removed before one could see if intended plant actually bore any fruit. After de-condomizing ones plant it became more like a treasure hunt. Some plants had no grapes others were heaving. The second problem were the uninvited guests, the wasps, that also wanted to feast on our grapes. It led to a number of wasp bites and sore bits with some of our pickers. Lastly but possibly the hardest thing was the heat. It was the first day of August, and the forecast of 41,5 degrees couldn’t stop us picking.
This was only our second year picking and as last year we picked at night, during a full moon, with blasting “wine picking playlist”, copious amount of wine drinking, it felt more like a fun party! The result was that we missed to pick a couple of lines of vines, but the most disgraceful thing was that we missed 4 crates of grapes already picked, that we could find a few days later with raisins like substance in. Therefore night picking is off the list.
We learn so many new things with the grapes every day. They are incredible beings. They self pollinate for example. No need of bees to carry their pollen from plant to plant, the wind works just fine! The harvesting is a work of art. Not just the picking, but the carrying of the boxes, stacking in cool rooms and at last the pressing!
We managed to pick our Sauvignon Blanc field next. Gone were the plastic condoms, the folding over in double to try and find your grapes. Here were 3 year old massive plants where the grapes were oozing! In a correct height for anyone with a pathetic back. This time we managed to start the picking an hour earlier. We also unbeknown to us had attracted a full 10 extra pickers which unfortunately led to us under staffing the scissors, knives and gloves. Dan and Dario has managed to set up a tent of plenty, coffee, water, sweet things from Palma Bread and lastly the Bose speaker so we could play the “wine picking playlist”! To anyone who hasn’t been introduced to this playlist on Spotify, by all means be my guest to listen to it. It spans across classical Clair de Lune, Claude Debussy, some hip hop with Eminem and Rakim, to the classic masterpiece of Rock me Amadeus by Falco. Dan has only deleted Cottoneyed Joe which was on last years playlist… I added Tuesday it is by Still in the bank as well as Dance Monkey by Tones and I to make up for it!
From Tuesday it is to Thursday it is! On Thursday we did our first pressing! Of our own grapes in our own bodega! It’s still kind of in the middle of being a building site so all the more credit to our fabulous build team of Ferratur and our engineers from CIEM that have really pushed to get our Bodega finished to the highest standard! Early Thursday we begun the first press of the white wine. After tasting the grape juice coming out of the press our 3 girls unitedly wondered, “-Why don’t we just make grape juice? It’s super tasty! Not like wine at all!”, we had brief thought about that but decided against it, we will keep the bodega to try and make very delicious drinkable wine! I’m sure the girls will appreciate it in the future!
As things normally tend to be pretty doubly full on for us, make no mistake, August has delivered, the 4 day show Infanta Elena started on Thursday evening at 7pm. As I was in the second class we thought it wouldn’t be too late. The shear number of starts was what made the show quite a long day. 62 entries in the first class! Not bad for a small island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. Unreal aka Rulle jumped amazing with me for a clear round and 2d place behind only Emma Bayliss and Cherry who also stable at Ses Rotes.
The second places continued for me and Rulle after a fast Friday night only beaten by the oldest show jumper on the island, apparently he nearly came off twice during his lightingly fast round to beat me. Yesterday was the final night for my class. I again managed to get a second place again this time beaten by Tracy Mignatti and her fabulous mare Vic Vac. Tracy and I were the only triple clears for the championship and I was crowned 2d place again after a jump off. Still clear! Rulle had jumped 4 solid courses without touching a single fence on warm up or on the course!
As had to go to Sweden for tomorrow mornings passports we are missing the Grand Finale prizegiving ceremony tonight at RCEEM. Such a shame, but very happy with the week that’s been.
We have one more grape to pick. My one and only favorite! The Callet! The Callet is a Mallorcan black grape. (That’s a purple colored grape for you not in the know). With the Callet one can make a fabulous red wine, a spectacular rosé wine or a breathtakingly awesome Blanc Noir, a white wine made with a black grape. It all depends of the sugar level off the grape on what you will make. On a young vine such as ours, it might be better suited for a Blanc Noir (Callet Blanc), or a rosé. After the vines matures at 5-7 years it might become better to make a full bodied red wine.
Also at last, I always time my travels normally to see some of my other horses in the world perform, this week it’s Clarissimo aka Simon and Malle jumping at Falsterbo Horse Show! We hope to be able to go in and see him live, but because of COVID-19 hellish pandemic, they have decided that owners are not allowed to come and watch. It’s a disgrace! The owners of show jumping horses are what keeps the sport alive. I heard of one owner having to get certified as a fence builder to be able to come in and watch her horses jump at another Swedish show. In Spain maybe we have gone over the top with our mask wearing all the time, but at least we can go and watch sport outdoors!
Keep Smiling 🙂 or stick out your tongue as nobody will see what you do behind your mask!