First stop today was Pinord Priorat. Pinord is a prominent producer originally based in Penedès (the region known for producing Spain’s sparkling wine – Cava), but came to the Priorat recently, opening a brand new operation using organic and now also biodynamic practices.
Jaume showed us how he collects a random selection of berries to test for their sugar content (in Baumé – a density measurement) and pH to determine when the ideal point for harvest will be. He also can tell if the grapes are ripe by squishing them between his fingers – if the flesh remains stuck around the seed then the grapes are not yet ripe.
Pinord’s Priorat vineyard is fully biodynamic and organic, so you see friends like this one:
Though they leave the vast majority of the insects alone, they do employ an ingenious method to indirectly combat one of the major pests of the region, the vine moth. They attach plastic ties impregnated with pheromones to the trellis. The pheromones create “sexual confusion” for the moths, preventing them from finding their mates to fertilize the eggs.
Then it was back to the lab (with the grapes in very high-tech containers) to check the sugars.
Sugar content is measured using a refractometer (here they measure it in Baumé – a density unit, rather than Brix that is often used in the US, which is a sugar concentration unit).
Today was a busy day and this visit was only the beginning of it, so more will be posted soon!