Finca La Capilla uses anti-frost techniques to improve the vines
Wineries are increasingly turning to the state of the art, the most advanced technology, for their salvation as a solution the competitiveness of the market. They must employ all their ingenuity and adopt the last advances for their wines to evolve towards excellence in quality.
Just as new technologies prevail in other sectors, vineyards are no stranger to their own special visitors in this era of new technology. These are the anti-frost towers. Rodrigo Miñón is an oenologist and field technical director at Finca La Capilla, Ribera del Duero, so his dedication to caring for the vines is a full-time year-round task. “By using anti-frost systems, the quality of the wines that reach the market can be improved,” says Rodrigo. For this reason, this Ribera del Duero winery installed these systems back in 2002 to ensure they never lost a harvest and that the final product was always of the desired quality.
The Ribera del Duero area has a very short vine cycle, according to the technical director of Bodegas Robeal. “Sprouting is in May and in October the grapes are collected, so the frost period is one of the shortest in any vineyard in the world”, he says.
To obtain an excellent quality of wine the whole ripening process must follows its normal course, without interruption from weather conditions.
Winemakers must embrace technological advances for their wine to evolve towards excellence in quality
“Frost affects both quality and quantity, because the grape loses weight. Without leaves, the sun hits the bunch of grapes directly”, he points out. He also explains how a slower ripening leads to more colour, a sweeter tannin and a harder pip and, as a consequence, a high quality wine.
Although the investment required to install these towers is very high – the five at the winery cost 150,000 euros – the result is very positive, he explains. “Any drop in temperature in trough areas can cause frost and, although we initially bought the fans for spring, the frosts in October paralyse the grape’s ripening process,” says Miñón.
“The use of these systems improves the quality of the wines and the quality of the vineyard, because it doesn’t suffer from such bad frost, especially when the vines are still green, which could lead to a loss of the whole crop and lead to diseases in the wood”, he says. According to this winemaker from Burgos, “when there is a frost, the stump cracks and breaks, causing wounds which wood fungi can penetrate”.