Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Fast and the Furious Harvest

I am totally immersed in harvest - the grapes keep a comin' and I keep a pressin'. The past month of harvest has been primarily grapes for Sparkling wine and we are just beginning to see some of the 'Still' wine grapes, like Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc start to trickle in. For those of us that make bubbly, harvest starts about one month ahead of those that do more of the still. Since the winery I work with does both, it makes for a very long harvest- about 2 1/2 to three months.

Speaking of Sparkling wine, my dayjob with Rack and Riddle has partnered up with CrushPad to make bubbly- whoohooo! When they were here with their first load of grapes they did a video interview with me about the process - CrushPad Sparkling
This was a fun day with them and am looking forward to working with them on this project.

So far the grapes are looking pretty good. Yields are down from what was anticipated due to the weather patterns of the year. Clusters are undersized or have shot berries for some varietals, but quality is good. It is always interesting to me to see how the weather patterns effect the vineyards- rain or heat at critical times of growth can have major effects on the grapes- specifically at budbreak and bloom. Since not all grapes set bud or bloom at the same time, every varietal is effected differently, sometimes escaping what has effected another varietal. Last year was a good example of this- some vineyards wiped out, others not effected-an extreme example.

I have promised videos of harvest - still working on that. Today I have a bit of a lull between grapes, yeast inoculations, barrels, pumpovers, rackings, and the endless paperwork.........

Cheers, the Mustang Winemaker, Penny

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