Today we went out sampling with Enric, I could not have a better partner to live and relive vintage chronicles. It has been several years since we shared them and we keep very funny memories. We decided to investigate the estates of "villa arriba", which would be Les Serres y Benufetsour favorite area, to see at what stage of ripeness and state of health our vineyards are in.
I have to say that this year we are happy, the quality of the grapes is exceptional, the fruit set was regular, which favors us since the amount of grapes per vine has been regulated and the ripening of the grapes is homogeneous and harmonious. Halfway between Benufet and La Serra we saw someone tying young Garnacha Blanca vines, the care and dedication with which he was doing it surprised me. As we all know each other in the village, we stopped the car and called out to him; "Ei, oncle!", this is how we have always addressed the older people in Batea. When he looked up, we saw that it was Jose Maria de Cal Ciego. In the village every house has a name that makes it easier to know who we are talking to or about at any given moment, which is important in a region where names and surnames are constantly repeated.
Jose Maria became a farmer at the age of 13 when the village teacher told his father that he could no longer teach him anything else, or he would go to study abroad, something unlikely in a humble family of those times, or he would go to work the family land, and so it was. We had a very pleasant, enriching and emotional conversation. He was worried that his grandson, who is now in charge of the crops, does not listen to him, very frequent feelings related to generational leaps. He worries that his legacy of 65 years of caring for the fields will be lost. According to him, his father died peacefully thinking that he was leaving his inheritance in good hands.
During the talk, we delved into what we now know as biodynamics, a way of doing things deeply rooted in him, which he had learned from his grandparents and they from their great-grandparents, generation after generation, a transmission of knowledge that made them wiser and kept alive this millenary dance between humans and nature. But Jose Maria insists that young people do not believe this about the moon and that he is also convinced that to work this land you have to be born here, living from childhood this absolute synergy with the earth.
Then he explained to us how essential the moon was, especially the actions that were carried out in the field during the old moon. The importance of observation, of walking among the vineyards, taking care and pampering the plant and the earth with every breath and, thus, maintaining the natural balance of our environment. At the end, it started to rain and with a face of satisfaction and bittersweet nostalgia we returned to the winery, hoping that tomorrow the weather and ripening will allow us to continue harvesting.