The grape harvest is one of the many works that were made in the field. For It consisted of the harvesting of the grapes wich grew in the stocks to be to later transformed in wine. It used to be AT the end of the month of September and beginigs of the month of October.
The grape harvest of the earliest grapes began in September and the first wine that was made could already be sold in the fairs, among them the famous Fair of Ayerbe. In this activity participated children also helping the to greater ones. They came very tired to work all the day in the field gathering the grape.
For them it was more a play than a work. In some cases they received some money and other ones they did not receive anything, but it always was amused because they could eat much grape and it was almost a luxury at that time. When the work finished, they were invited to " the moneybox " (traditional supper in which children who had participated in the works to harvest grapes were invited when the grape harvest finished).
The first work to develop to was the cleaning of lthe winepress. This was traditionally made the Sunday previous to the 12 of October. That day was when the grape harvest was began.
On the top of the winepress some woods were placed and on thesewas put the grape. While grapes were treaded the worthy liquid wnet to the inferior part of the winepress.
They were generally children who treaded grapes in winepresses of the house when they leave the school.
After stepping on the grapes children went to the source to wash their legs and the water was frozen because if they didn´t wash themselves immediately their legs were very sticky. Even so some children did not put themselves to soaking.
Sometimes 4 or 5 families for the elaboration of the wine joined themselves. When wine was elaborated, it was distributed between the participant families. Children who had participated in to tread the grapes got some gratuity that in spite of it was not much money motivated them so that they helped next year. It seemed to them a good gratuity. Several varieties of wine were manufactured. Among them the variety of the mixture of red and white wine. The elaboration of this kind of wine became in the press. In many houses there was no press and these houses used presses of other houses and they paid some money by the use. The mixture of red and white wine does not boil with the breeze as the red wine does but that it boils alone and it is not darkened. The work consisted of giving the return to the press, but what they more used to like was to give the returns backwards because it was not necessary to make much force. The press went very smooth and did a sound, click, clac, click, clac... that children liked much to hear.
In many houses wine was sold all the year. In many houses a branch of ivy in the window was placed to indicate that there was wine there for sale. Some houses had fixes customers and it was not necessary to announce. Wine was sold by liters and not by pitchers like it was made formerly.
Formerly the harvest of grapes in our towns was so great that sometimes they filled the winepress twice. But, little by little the stocks reduced because the population in the towns diminished and for that reason, some winepresses fell in disuse. It was necessary that several families grouped themselves to fill a winepress.
One of the tasks had to do in the elaboration of the wine was the one to prick the winepress and to give a return to all the liquid that was boiling and fermenting during days there. A day they itched a side and the following day they itched the other. It was a dangerous work because exhalation was made and it was necessary to mantear to expel the gas. In order to verify if oxygen had consumed an oil lamp was ignited and if this one extinguished it was signal that the gas was in the air so it was very dangerous to remain in the warehouse.
But the best thing of everything was the end of the work, when the wine was distributed, discounted the expenses and "the moneybox" became. It was a traditional supper in which children who had participated in the works were invited. This supper were made of: haricot beans and stewed meat, almonds, hazelnuts, figs and punch. Children were very happy because they were between greater and they recognized their work. If things had gone well they gave gratuity to children.
Nowadays wine continues being elaborated but the manufacture does not seem too much to the way to manufacture wine years ago. The main reason of is because everything is very mechanized.