We are in the middle of harvesting our Concord grapes – and ever so thankful for the large walk-in cooler that allows us to store the grapes before crushing them.
The last few weekends were spent planting more grapevines. We had prepared the ground already, but still had to mark the rows, as well as each spot for the vines. Then we dug out a deep enough hole for each rootcluster. The first weekend, we planted 200 additional Traminette vines at Anja & Duff’s ground, and last weekend, we planted 150 Chambourcin vines (grafted, on rootstock 3309) at the Long Shot Farm. Everyone helped and it did not take us that long at all!
|Toben (7) helps to make holes for the vines|
We must have made some math error because when we were all done, we still had space for another 50 or so vines. Luckily, Double A Vineyard had sufficient grapes left over, and shipped them out right away- so those stragglers got planted today.
After we had planted all the vines, we used our plastic layer, and covered them – then we had to go through and poke holes for each new vine to stick out. We are hoping that this will help in case we run into another drought like last year.
|Duff checks out his newly planted Traminettes|
Yesterday we picked the last of our grape variety, the Vidal Blanc. We should have harvested them 4 days earlier, because the birds got the majority of the grapes in just the last few days 🙁
Here is this year’s chronological grape harvest:
- Chardonnel, at 21° Brix and a pH of 3.06
- Corot Noir
- Chambourcin harvest part 1, for making Rosè, at 19.9° brix and a pH of 3.31
- Chambourcin harvest part 2, for red wine, 22° Brix, and pH of 3.47
- Vidal Blanc, 20.6° Brix and pH of 3.33
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 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!