Sep 6, 2023 • 2 min read

Harvest Prep in One Million Easy Steps Part 1

There is a definite excitement in the air. We watch the weather closely, we check our vineyards regularly. We talk to growers and clean tanks. Every day we get closer to picking the year's grape harvest and every day there is something else to clean, prepare or fix.

Unlike some other crops, we get once chance to get this right, and a million factors are at play.  Here's a small list of what our vineyard manger Mike is up to up to as we anticipate the most wonderful time of the year!

In the Vineyard

Detailed Crop Estimates: Get out your pencils and calculators folks! This important number starts by mapping out 20 foot sections  throughout the vineyard.  We count the number of clusters in each section to get an average. THAT number is divided by the average cluster weight, which varies by varietal.

Bird and Deer Damage Prevention: As the grapes ripen and get sweeter, they are a tasty treat for birds and deer. We use bird netting to cover the vines, allowing sunshine and breeze in, but keep animals away.  An air canon, run by propane, goes off intermittently around our property, hopefully scaring away our hungry guests.

Mowing for Easy Access: We have a small, but hardworking team of H2 A workers from Mexico who practically fly as they hand harvest our grapes. Keeping the rows tidy, for safety and efficient picking, is key to a successful harvest. 

Fruit Sampling: Tasting grapes and fruit sampling is important for two reasons: One, there needs to be enough sugar in the fruit to ferment properly and two, so there is a good balance of sugar and acidity in the resulting wine. Timing harvest is critical, but unfortunately there's not a big flashing sign letting us know when the right moment is, so we do tests and measure!

For a few final steps, we sharpen our shears, clean and organize harvest bins (pictured above) and pray for good weather.

Stick around for Part 2 where our new Winemaking Lead Kevin Uhl gives the low down on harvest prep in the winery. 

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