Grape treading is a tradition that takes place during the grape harvest, and consists of treading the fruit of the vineyard that has been harvested and then thrown into the wine press. In this way, wine is made, or rather, wine was made.
It sounds like an easy task. But the truth is that it requires patience and perseverance. And, why not say it, a certain technique. In fact, it is not done in the same way everywhere. Each region has its own customs, although there are a series of rules that must be followed wherever you are.
As we said, it is a tradition that has fallen into disuse, but is deeply rooted in our culture. For this reason, in many corners of our country it is still maintained as a tourist activity. And that is why we dedicate these lines to it.
To begin with, the treading must start from the centre to the ends. This is done with the intention of making the most of the grape as much as possible, as in this way sufficient pressure is achieved to extract the must without it losing its properties. In addition, this achieves optimum fermentation, as it favours contact with the yeasts.
It is important to emphasise that this tradition is carried out barefoot; without weight on the feet it is easier and more dynamic. Although it can also be done with rubber boots. In any case, we are talking about a process that comes from the traditional grape harvest, which was the only way for wine-growing villages to make their wine.
A curious fact related to grape treading has to do with the rhythm. Farmers realised that they obtained better results if they treaded the grapes in a certain rhythm. Therefore, this process was accompanied by music, and it became a dance spectacle worth seeing.
It is a way of making wine that arouses the interest of wine lovers. It is a unique experience, where you can feel the music, the texture of the grapes on your feet, the aroma of the grapes and the pleasant sensation of the must between your toes.
Nowadays there are other ways of making wine, faster and with machinery. Grape treading is only the foundation of a house that has been built little by little, with technological advances and over the years. But it is still the beginning of something as beloved as wine and all that it encompasses. After all, you can’t start building a house from the roof up, can you? That is why traditions are so important for Barcolobo. They remind us of how it all began and how we got to where we are today.