Harvest, Crush, Press Chardonnay 2022

It was bitter cold this morning when we started to pick. A big change from a week ago. Today was the last day available before a lot of rainy weather and colder temps.

We ended up with 290 lbs of fruit. 27 gallons of must which pressed into 16 gallons of juice all tucked away for the winter in the freezer.

Brix 21-24°, pH 3.15, TA 8.1

Driving the grapes up
the hill in a motorized cart
More crushing
Free run
Pressed juice

Harvest Day 2022 – Oct 18

We just finished harvesting our 2022 Pinot Noir. Despite a few setbacks during the growing season we have 302 lbs of grapes ready to process. Later today we will crush and destem them, get a good brix reading (sugar content) and test for pH and TA (titratable acidity) and adjust if necessary as well as add so2 to quiet any wild yeast and prevent oxidation as we freeze the must for the winter. – – sorry that was a long sentence!

1. Late onset powder mildew. We sprayed with fungicides early in the year but stopped too soon. The mildew wasn’t widespread and mostly affected the leaves and not the fruit

2. Attack of the Yellow Jackets. Something we haven’t seen before. Swarms of them sucking the juice right out of the Pinot.. Fortunately there were more grapes than Yellow Jackets.

3. Birds. We have bird netting and used it back in 2018 but since we never noticed a bird, we stopped using it. We probably only lost 5 lbs of grapes due to birds nibbling them. Next year we’ll net to avoid it all together.

Powdery Mildew 2022

Not again! We have late season signs of powdery mildew. Mostly in our Chardonnay. Some of the fruit seems to taste OK but there are some damaged clusters and vines with damage.

While we had been spraying 3 types of fungicides on a rotational basis we may have stopped too soon.

The link to a walkthrough of the entire vineyard youtube.com/watch

Low Brix ~ Hoping for a Long Late Summer

Did a brix test in the field today. The Chardonnay is a disappointing 5-8º on Sept 6! The Pinot Noir is around 10-14º. Without another 2 weeks of warm weather we may be in a situation where we will have to pick and chaptilize (add sugar).

When The Cat’s Away …

Just returned from a week away to find a little sign of Powdery Mildew on some of the leaves. Fruit set is complete and verasion has begun on the Pinot Noir already.

Our plan of action is to spray with Liquid-Cop fungicide (not sulphur) to keep the leaves from getting worse if we can. At this point we can only hope the grapes won’t be adversely affected.

As for the fruit this year. Everything looks healthy but behind schedule from last year. The Chardonnay berries are still smaller and lack any sweetness.

The Pinot is 1/3 of the way into verasion and some of the red berries taste like 12º brix although we haven’t taken a refractometer to it yet.