We have about 2 weeks until the nets go up and we have a lot of work to do. Last week we started thinning some fruit that I didn’t think would ripen in time and we will finish that in a few days. Next, we will do a second pass to ensure the right amount of leaves have been removed to enhance the flavor of the grapes. We also will tuck the vines in the wires one more time and spray with potassium bicarbonate to hopefully eliminate the possibility of bunch rot. Then the nets go up and we stress the vines by reducing the water and hopefully mid September we have almost 4 tons of Pinot noir.
As soon as veraison is complete, I will take a pH reading on the grapes to see if the improvements we made last year helped to make the grapes more acidic. Let’s hope as it will make wine making much easier.
Veraison (or when the grapes turn red) is here!!! It actually happened on July 5th this year. I only count when I see a red grape on a full cluster. Last year it was on July 8th. So when is harvest? Well…in general, it is normally 6 weeks after you get to 50% veraison, or in our case around the time the grapes hit 24.5 brix/taste good/brown seeds. We are 3 days behind for growing degree days from last year, but 3 days ahead for veraison, but have at least 30% more fruit…so my guess is September 15th.
Now for the tonnage…We had a total of 2.6 tons last year. It was split approximately 1.75 tons pommard and 0.85 tons 667. I’m guessing that the pommard is 25% more than 2013 and the 667 is twice what it was last year. So…2.19 tons of pommard and 1.7 tons of 667 for a total of 3.89 tons of Pinot noir. We are going to keep around a ton this year to make ourselves and sell the rest to Horse and Plow Winery.
Follow along in September to see how my guesses hold up.