Posted by: gypsytales | January 4, 2010

We Visit Wine and Olive Farms

vineyards and irrigation

Farm Familia Cecchin.  Our first visit was to a small organic farm just outside Mendoza.  The fruit trees in the middle of the vineyard are a way of attracting insects to the fallen fruit.  These are 40 year old Malbec vines.  The space between the rows of vines is very narrow so everything is hand harvested which starts at the end of February.  Mendoza is a desert.  Only 3% – 4% of the land can be cultivated.  Rain fall is 200ml a year, just less than a cup of water.  They receive their water from the mountains.  The government has a distribution system and will release water to the farms once a week.  The amount of water received depends upon the size of the land. 

The left over skins and seeds are used to fertilise the ground. 

wine tasting

This farm produces 300 000 bottles a year.  80% of their wines are exported.  The remaining 20% is sold to wine shops and restaurants. 

LAUR Olive Farm

100 year old trees

LAUR Olive Farm.  Harvest time for olives is between April and July.  The quality of the olive depends on the level of acidity.  The lower the acidity the better the quality.  I didn’t know that green olives and black olives are from the same tree, it just depends on the harvesting time. 

Green olives are harvested earlier, in April and are for oil and the black olives are harvested in July and are just for eating. 

This farm produces only virgin olive oil.  These trees are already 100 years old.  1 tree produces 100kg of olives in a season.  That means 100kg of olives produces 15 litres of olive oil.  You need 8kg of olives to make 1 litre of olive oil.  Because of improved processing this farm has three people who handle 100,000 kg of olives per day, over a year this farm will produce 1,000,000 litres of olive oil. 

The stones from the olives are used as fuel for the water boilers for the factory.

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