During the months of October and November most of the ranches will be sheering their sheep in the Valdes Peninsula for the production of wool. One of the opportunities that I have had to observe and document this activity was in the Iriarte family estancia. Although Valdes Peninsula is a State Nature Reserve, it is not an intangible park, meaning that there is private land and some commercial activity takes place. The 56 different estancias are all primarily dedicated to the raising of sheep and wool production. This activity has gone on in the peninsula since the early 1900s.
Sheep shearing in Valdes Peninsula is usually carried out during the month of October and is the most important economic activity of the entire year. Different ranch hands will coral their livestock, spread out over thousands of hectares, and wait the arrival of an independent shearing team to arrive and do their work.
The different shearing teams are professionals and all have their own techniques. Often these teams will spend months and travel long distances to work the different estancias that have hired their services. The most experienced sheep shearers can shear an entire animal in less than a minute.
After having sheared an animal the wool will be spread out on a table and separated, grouping that of the legs and belly in one pile and the back and sides, usually of the best quality, in another.
After being classified, the wool is pressed into large, 200kg, bales to be transported by truck to different ports where most is exported for the international textile industry.
I would like to thank Cucho Iriarte, a longtime local friend, for the invitation to this interesting and traditional yearly event so that it can be shared around the world. Thank you Cucho!!