Last February I estimated that the 2012 harvest would be 1300 pounds…and we had 1190 pounds with the raccoons getting the other 100 pounds. So…pretty close. How did I get so lucky? Originally I had planned for 3 pounds/vine in my farming plan and I had 2900 vines that were OK and in the first harvest you get 10-20% of the final number (I used 15%) so I got 1305…rounded down to 1300 pounds.
What about this year? Using the same formula I have 3100 vines (of 3130 total) and in the second year you get 50-60% so I should get 5115 pounds.
Now, it you really want to get precise, you would actually measure the number of buds per vine (looks like 7 right now), multiply by 1.5 grape clusters/shoot (typical for Pinot noir), multiply by 80 grams/grape cluster with 3100 vines…and you get 5736 pounds.
Finally, and most importantly, how many bottles with that produce? Well…there are 2.378 gal/case and we started last year with 1190 pounds and got 102 gallons…then you average the top crop estimates and we might get 5425 pounds which will give us 195 cases (minus what the raccoons will get).
For all those math inclined…try the calculation at home to double check me. Sort of reminds me of an algebra question in the 8th grade with Mrs Nancy Wheeler.
One last thing on the subject. 2012 was a great growing year without any heat spikes, fantastic fruit set, no frost events and a great harvest season. I’m guessing we won’t be as lucky this year, so perhaps 150-175 cases. If it really is that big (and I’ll know in July), I’ll have to sell some fruit this year as that is to much for me to make given my current equipment.
Later in the year I will have a “Harvest Total Estimate” contest, and the winner will win a bottle of wine.