Formerly, in the Ribera del Duero harvest, relatives and friends were gathered together to collect the grapes, or alternatively, people from nearby towns were hired. The harvest work began on the same day throughout the whole town, at the moment when the town hall gave the green light.
With mule or ox carts and amidst the revelry of the songs from the groups, they walked towards the vineyard, garillo in hand. In what were called the cribs, the grapes that were being harvested were placed there to later be taken to the wineries. These cribs or large wicker baskets (also made with oak or chestnut wood slats) were taken to the river a few days before the harvest to harden them. The presses and vats were also cleaned a few days beforehand with hot water and fiber brushes.
The harvest day began with the first rays of the sun and ended at sunset. Hard days of work in the field enlivened by lunch and dinner, always in the vineyard, where there was no shortage of wine to drink and grapes for dessert.
When the cribs or wicker baskets (still smelling of the river) were full, it was time to carry them on their shoulders to the cart and take them to the presses, where the wine pressers were waiting to tread barefoot on the bunches of grapes in order to obtain the must.
In Fuentecén, located in the heart of the Ribera del Duero Burgalesa, we find in the area of El Pinar the old underground cellars built with sandstone or limestone arches. It dates back to the 18th century and with a depth that ranged between 7 and 12 meters to preserve the wine in large wooden vats at a temperature between 10 and 13 degrees. The grapes and the subsequent must of each harvest arrived in these underground wineries and cellars to later export the wine to other cities. Currently these wineries are used by clubs or groups of friends to celebrate festivities.