Nikos Douloufakis' 25th harvest
This year marks the 25th anniversary of our wine maker’s first harvest, back in the distant 1996, and he assures us that none of the harvest seasons was the same as the others!
Each of the harvest seasons was different, each one with its own challenges and difficulties, either viticultural, or vinicultural. Each harvest season had vinicultural experimentations, sometimes successful, other times not. Without a doubt, his previous experience played an important part in coping with such different conditions as of those of the current year. A year that started off ideally, as the cold winter provided the so much wanted rainfall and lower temperatures for the vineyards.
Due to the weather conditions, the interfering for the cure of diseases was the bare minimum, contributing to our biological approach of the cultivation. But once again, Nature got the upper hand by striking the region with 3 different heat waves, with the first being around Easter season, with temperatures reaching 37°C! This first heat wave affected the yields. If the normal yield of 700kg/acre seems limited- yet necessary for fine wines- imagine those of 450! The second heat wave, by the end of July, left the berries slightly sunburnt, but the third and final one, that lasted the longest and was the harshest in regards to the temperatures, affected the grapes for good. It led to the dehydration of some of the varieties, whereas the more resistant ones were able to remain intact. The varieties that were affected the most by this last heat wave were the white ones, and more specifically those of Muscat, that were severed both in quality and in quantity.
The actual harvest time came with a lot of frustration with late-harvest varieties, such as this of Cabernet Sauvignon, being ripen earlier than the early harvest ones for the first time. This had as a result grapes that usually get harvested over the span of a month or so, now arriving in the winery simultaneously, and we were left with high alcohol contents and unexpected, interesting acidities.
But the most difficult years are always the most interesting ones!