We are almost 2 weeks ahead of last year for Bud Break and now Flowering…looks like an early harvest unless we have a cool summer. This is the first one I have seen this year and as you can see from the picture below, it is on one of the healthiest canes…already to the third wire.
My guess right now is we will harvest around the 23rd of August this year…normally time for Champagne Pinot.
As some of you may have heard Sonoma Valley is ahead of schedule this year for version and probably harvest by 1-3 weeks. Here at Turtle Vines I think we are 1 week ahead of last year given all the clouds/fog the last 2 weeks.
We are about 85% into version with some vines still having green grapes. I decided to test the sugar content of the grapes at different colors to understand how it correlates.
Green grape – 8%
Orange grape – 11%
Purple grape – 15%
Dark grape on the same vine where all the grapes have turned is 16.5%.
The rule of thumb is that the grapes shift by 1% per week in “normal” weather. If most of the grapes in the vineyard are around 16.5% and I want to pick at 24%, then I’m 7.5 weeks away, or 9/23…same as last year.
This is one of the nicer looking vines right now in the vineyard. Below I put a close-up of the bunches. You can see in the picture the berries have swelled and the bunch has almost closed up. Very exciting! What does this mean for harvest and how can we predict it?
In 2012 we harvested on September 23rd at a bris (sugar content) of 22.8. This year I would like to be at 23.5 to give an alcohol content of a little under 14% but add more flavor. – add 5 days
– For 2013 our bud break and bloom were 3 weeks early – I don’t have enough information on our vines to tell.
– Our Growing Degree Days are a week ahead of last year – subtract 7 days
– We have 4 times the grapes, but also more than 4 times the foliage as 2012 – subtract 7 days
– We had a dry spring, only 25″ of rain this season vs 45″ last year
So…our new estimate is September 14!!!