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!
Just a quick note…we started bloom at the beginning of May and the vineyard is now almost fully complete. In the Pommard block we already have BB sized grapes and it looks to be a very good “set” (the conversion of flowers to grapes) which means a good harvest if all goes well.
It has been a very busy May so far and I just want to update you on what is happening in the vineyard.
First off, the weather has been warm/hot and dry, in fact our “Growing Degree Days” are running 20% higher than last year. This is a measure of the weather for us farmers. For the rest of you it means I’m 2-3 weeks ahead of last year, so it has been more stressful than last year at this time.
We started the month with bloom. They say that from bloom to harvest is around 120 days, so that will put harvest in early to mid September.
The rest of the month so far has been devoted to thinning shoots on the vines, positioning the shoots so they grow straight and leave room for the grapes, clipping the wires together and weeding. The result is the picture above…well manicured vines! Just have to finish weeding on 2/3 of the vineyard and we are good to go.
One downside of the nice weather is that the powdery mildew is a big concern, so I have started spraying with oil much earlier than last year.
What is next? I have to start leafing around the BB sized grapes so the spraying is more effective and the develop a sun tan so they are better able to stand the summer heat.
I’ve put some pictures below of the work so far this month.