One of the most important farming tasks in Spain and especially in our area (La Mancha) is the vintage... we must publish a post about that. In this occasion, our friend Oscar, who is from El Provencio (Cuenca) a Village near ours, sent us some pictures and comments. As you know we aren't winegrowers so we don't have enough knowledge about this crop but we like it so much.
As Oscar told us, the day when he took his pictures they were harvesting Cencibel and Monastrell grapes. The vintage day (when they work with grape harvester) is from 6:00 a.m. to 13:30 p.m. Sometimes, winery can alert them to stop their vintage if all the cooling tanks are being full quickly and winery can't store all the wort. Winery decides when they have to vintage if they are harvesting Verdejo variety.
His results are really remarkable. The collecting Cencibel grapes are about 12,800kg/ha and 14.1 Baume degrees. The collecting Monastrell variety is 7,600kg/ha and 13.6 Baume degrees (it is a rainfed vineyard)... you have to know winegrowers charge at kg-Baume degree so they have to harvest grapes when they are optimum ripeness.
The grape harvester is a New Holland VX7090. This machine can vintage about 3.5km/h (it depends on the quantity of grapes and vegetation of the vineyard) and it can vintage one hectare in one hour and a half. The two hoppers can store about 3,000kg of grapes. The grape harvester is fully configurable depending on the vineyard. The number of hits of sticks which hits all vine stock can be regulated. Also the fan can be configured to turn up or turn down the air flow rate… if it is low, grapes will arrive at winery with too much leaves and if the air flow rate is so much power the grape harvester will throw wort. By the way, the price that farmers pay for these machines is 230€/ha. Oscar picked up about 75,000kg in that working day... he had to deliver his grapes in winery using his two trailers as you can see in his pictures... Oscar said that it is a stressful job.
Versión en español.