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Harvest Blog from Mario Pablo Silva, Vina Casa Silva, Chile

Published:  09 March, 2009

Our third harvest report from Mario Pablo Silva, managing director of Viña Casa Silva March, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Last Saturday my father, Mario Silva, president of Vina Casa Silva, was driving back home from Santiago and began worry. The skies had been threatening all day and it finally happened: a heavy rain!

Mario almost destroyed his mobile phone trying to reach the different vineyard managers to check what the situation was like across the Colchagua Valley. When he finally got through we managed to reassure him that everything was fine at Vina Casa Silva, as fortunately the valley was not hit and only small insignificant drops were felt in some areas, while the dark skies were moving East over the Andes.

Over the last week we have had many fresh cloudy days, which despite being threatening, have been excellent for the preservation of fruitiness and acidity in grapes, and also proved to be great working conditions for the harvesters.

Towards the end of last week we started to pick the first Chardonnay from Lolol, and this week it has accelerated for all varieties.

We have now started to harvest some of our very best sectors of Chardonnay in Angostura where we have reached a 22-23 brix level and ph of 3,28-3,38.

The Angostura Merlot however is not quite ready yet, showing today a 23,6 brix on average. We believe that due to the current cooler conditions we may need another week to reach a balance phenolic ripeness. (Should be reached around 24,5 brix for most of our Merlot).

On the other hand some tiny sectors of Cabernet Sauvignon have already reached 25-25,5 brix (although the average for our main top areas is only at 23-24 now), and ph 3,38-3,40, so we are ready to start harvesting these tomorrow.

This vintage is an excellent test to our vineyard sector maps. Thanks to our Micrror-terrior study we have a very accurate mapping of our vineyard with separation of potential and characteristics for each variety. With this year's conditions (early) we must monitor individual parcels separately so we can avoid over-ripeness and loss of acidity, freshness, aromas and fruitiness, 2009 is proving to be a very exciting harvest for us, but for now I really must get back to the vineyards. Until next week, saludos.