Finally we Harvest!
It’s been a long, trying growing season and now is the payoff! All of the work we do throughout the year - pruning, protecting the vines from frost, shoot thinning, leaf pulling, cluster thinning, praying – comes to fruition, literally, now as we harvest.
You see Bill, there, in the vineyard – the happy winemaker inspecting the fruit just before we went in. The flavors, color and phenolic (tannin) development are all there, right where we want to see them.
After such a challenging season it’s comforting and gratifying to see those pretty little grapes on the sorting table.
If you’ve been following our posts you know that the crop size is down, considerably. The 4-5 tons we’d hoped for, from our 2.5 acres, dissolved into 2.3 tons – a remarkably low yield. But, the fruit looks really good thanks to meticulous sorting first in the vineyard and then at the winery.
We started on Wednesday bringing in the ripest of the Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon. As I mentioned in my previous post, we realized that some of the fruit from the shaded parts of the vineyard might not make it to the winery. However, it’s found a happy home with a local home winemaker rather than being left for the birds.
It’s been a little tense in the valley since the rains early this month and we even noticed it from the men who help us with our harvest. Usually, we hear a lot of singing as they cut the clusters off of the vines but they were so intent on their work that it was a quiet morning. These men have been with us from pruning the vines early last March, shoot positioning in May and thinning in September and they take the final steps as seriously as we do. The same guys follow the tractor to the winery and man the sorting table with us as the berries go into the fermenter.
So, I’ve washed the juice out of my hair and now we anticipate the conversion of grape juice to wine. More on that soon!
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