Monthly Archives: May 2015

2015 Harvest Predictions based on Bud Break

May 2015 grapes

Last year my harvest prediction was only off by 3%, so it is time to go out on a limb and see what we will get this year.

First…when will we harvest?  This year our Bud Break was 2/25/15 and Bloom was 4/21/15, both of those were 2 weeks ahead of last year…and the vines are growing like crazy.  However, it has been much cooler than the last 2 years for much of the last 6 weeks which should have slowed growth down…but it doesn’t look like it.  The real prediction will come at veraison, but that is not for a months…so as of now I’m predicting Sep 2nd, 2015 for the Pinot at 24 brix.

Now…how much.  Last year was 3.8 tons and this year the clusters look healthy and large.  The Pommard clone at 100% and the 667 clone is around 80%.  So…3000 vines at 3.5 pounds/vine at 90% = 4.73 tons.

In addition we should have 240 pounds of Merlot and 300 pounds of Sauvignon Blanc which we will harvest the end of September.

Stay tuned to see how my predictions work out!


Sprayer Troubles!

Sprayer Fan

I used this “Homemade” ATV sprayers for my vineyard the last 3 years, and last month the fan axel broke.  What did this mean?  For 3 weeks I had to back-pack spray to prevent powdery mildew.  For those of you not familiar with this…You fill a spray pack with 4 gallons of water with organic spray material, like Stylet Oil, and then pump it to pressurize it continually and walk with 40 pounds on your back for about 5 miles.  Not a lot of fun…but it should prevent disease later in the year.  The good news for me is it has not been to warm, so the disease pressure is low!

Finally after waiting for 2 weeks for the replacement fan, I got it up and running last week and it seems as good as new.


What’s going on the last Month at Turtle Vines?

May 2015 row

Well…we have been busy here here at Turtle Vines the last few month.  I will just catch you up on the highlights!

For my Birthday this last January Joanne gave me a Vinmetrics 300 so I can now do pH/TA and Sulfur tests on our wine and grapes during harvest season.  We tried them out and compared them to our local lab and found it to be quite accurate and pretty easy to use, although I had to channel my high school chemistry lab (thanks Mr Fletcher).

We bottled and labelled our 2014 Merlot…sorry not for sale as we only had 4 cases, but if you are lucky enough to be in town, I’ll open up a bottle.  It is the perfect pizza wine.  Last week I labelled our 2013 Pinot and spun capsules on the tops.  I REALLY like this wine, as does the “Prince of Pinot”, so if you want some order it fast when I release it in the next few weeks.  We also bottled, labelled and capsuled our 2014 Sauvignon Blanc (8 cases).  This year it is much more like a traditional Sauvignon Blanc since we had more Clone 1 than last year.  And I researching an easy way to make Champagne on a small scale!

Lastly, as you can see from the picture above, the vines have grown like crazy this year.  Not only did Bud Break and Bloom happen 2 weeks ahead of last year, but the last 6 weeks were perfect for plant growth…warm with a few instances of rain.  We have finished shoot thinning and moving wires…but we now have to shoot straighten to prevent powdery mildew, hedge the top at 6.5′ for the perfect amount of foliage, leaf and weed whack around the base.  Hoping to finish these by the first week of June, and then the vineyard will be in great shape for the rest of the year.