Evaluating Fruit Leading up to HarvestSat 3rd November 2012 3.37PM
Leading up to Harvest, we periodically walk the vines to evaluate how the fruit is progressing. Here, the leaf canopy is checked to ensure clusters are offered protection from the sun while allowing enough light and airflow to assist with ripening and reduced disease pressure. About 3 weeks before harvesting the fruit, we begin tasting berries for sugar development, acidity and flavor.
On the 15th, I grabbed several “representative” clusters from each section of the property. After squishing the grapes, we evaluated the resulting juice for flavor while checking sugar and acidity levels. Analysis backed up our palates as Justin, Cindy and I felt the 667 clone was running a few days ahead of the Pommard and 115 clones.
Because the forecast is calling for a seemingly endless string of moderately temped days with little chance for rain, we're thinking Harvest is about 10 to 14 days out. The extra time on the vine will bring more complex flavors and help soften the acids.
On his way to the winery on the 20th, Justin pulled additional cluster samples to “run numbers” in the lab. Because the flavors were truly beginning to emerge starting to come out, we’d zip by the property every couple of days to taste berries and keep an eye out for mold development.