Our first Corot Noit harvst turned out to be rather sparse. Not only was it the first year that the vines were producing, but we had pruned a lot of clusters off to ensure the vines stayed healthy through the dry summer conditions. But on top of all that, we had major bird damage – the story of our 2016 harvest season.
For these grapevines, we had used black netting, since it is a lot more aesthetic to look at – sadly, the black netting was completely useless.
We picked just enough grapes to end up with 2.5 gallons of must (we had been hoping for ten times that much). Since we had so few grapes, we destemmed them manually, and then crushed them by hand.
We let fermentation run its course, punched down the cap every day, and ended up with 1.5 gallons of wine. We’ll see how it turns out in about a year. For 2017 we are hoping for a full barrel!
We celebrated Elena’s first birthday today at the farm…the first of several celebrations, and we had a blast…and cake, balloons and a doll!!
Sammy came home with the cutest puppy ever – a two month old Border Collie, who she named Ruger. Lars is already in love with the dog, who currently lives in our kitchen. We build dog gates to keep it contained to the tile floor. At night time, he sleeps in a large dog cage in Lars’s bedroom.
I think Ruger may just be the smartest dog ever. We have had him for over two weeks now, and he only had one accident – and that was just because he did not know how to let us know that he need to go outside.
We got a gas powered, handheld fence post driver. Ours is made by a company called Skidril (which is how we refer to this tool by now). Probably one of the best tools ever for putting in metal trellis posts. It works so much faster than drilling holes with a tractor attachment, and then pounding in the wooden posts with another tractor attachment. And – with the handheld tool, we can easily replace or add posts when the grapevines or blackberry bushes are already established.
Of course it does take some stamina, and balance and in our case a crew of three people. We marked the field where the posts had to be placed before we got started, and build a platform for the truck for one person to stand on to use the post driver. The second person held the post in place with a level to keep it straight, and the third person drove the truck. They managed to set about 80 posts in an hour!
And, the Skidril has a jackhammer attachment, which will come in really handy once we put in expanded drainage troughs in the barn…