Time stops for no man- and neither does the grape harvest. Derek had one day to recover from the earthquake and then it was business as usual- thankfully, it happened at the beginning of harvest before the true insanity sets in. As expected, as soon as that first berry is picked, we start getting a lot of questions as to how this year’s harvest is shaping up. So, here’s the highlight reel of the 2014 harvest so far…
Last week was the first full week of harvest bringing in Muscat Cannelli, Viognier, and some of the young-vine Barbera. By the time you read this post, we will have started on the varietals we use in our in our Rose’ (Grenache, Zinfandel, and Syrah) as well as our Sangiovese. By the end of the week…who knows? It all depends on the weather- which, at this point, seems to be holding at a steady high of lower 90’s. Now that I’ve caught you up on the “what is happening” we can move on to the “how’s it looking”?
As of right now, we are dead on with our estimates, which are putting us at about average when looking at the last 10 years. The vines are holding between 4 to 10 pounds of fruit per vine. This is low for the industry as a whole, but for Naggiar, as well as the customers we sell fruit to, it’s right on- quality over quantity. However, we make up for the lower-per-vine poundage, with our newer plantings having a tighter spacing- the per vine yields still stay small, but the overall vine count per acre, thus tonnage, is higher. The berries are Goldilocks size- not too big, not too small- just right. As for the all-important big Q, it’s a bit early to say, but so far the outlook on the quality is promising. The fruit that has come in so far is in really good shape, not only physically, thanks to night-picking when it is cool, but also organoleptically (Derek assures me that is a word, though spell-check does not agree)-the flavor and aroma profile. When we process the grapes, we also do some lab analysis on them to quantify the chemical components- YAN (yeast available nitrogen), G+F (sugars), L-malic, pH, T.A., OMG, BYOB (wait, scratch the last two). These are all really good indicators of the health of the vines at picking and it also dictates if amendments are needed for the must. So far, those numbers are looking really good this year.
All in all, the summer has been a pretty normal summer, normal growing season (albeit started a couple of weeks early) and hopefully, we’ll finish up with a nice, uneventful harvest. Derek is optimistic, looking forward to seeing what the next few weeks brings. I, on the other hand, am looking forward to the start of football in a few short days. Hmm, grapes are looking good- hopefully that means a winning season for both the grapes and my team.[jetpack_subscription_form]