Tag Archives: viticulture

Rain, rain, go away…

Yikes! Big storm in the forecast for Weds. That is not a good thing when you still have grapes hanging in the vineyard! Looks like we will be harvesting the Pommard, 115, and 777 on Tuesday morning just in the nick of time. The guys will show up at around 3:30 in the morning with headlamps and picking bins. It’s fun, but that is another post. Right now we have to be concerned with the Swan which needs more hang time before it can be picked…which means it has to weather the storm. Yesterday Mom and Miguel spent the day leafing that block which looks like this now:

Notice that all those lovely leaves that we left on the vine to prevent sunburn on the grapes are now laying on the ground. (The best laid plans…) As it turns out, with the storm coming in we now want to denude the vines of all leaves in the fruit zone so that after the storm the clusters will get good sun and air flow so that they dry out completely, hopefully preventing rot.  Great… Rot… I am not even going to go there. It also turns out that Mom hates this job even more than changing emitters. Said it made her crazy. Plugged into her favorite tunes on her iPod and she still can’t focus…that’s my Mom. She was good for about 8 rows and then went into the house to cook dinner.

And what a dinner it was! Mom’s friend Kris from high school in Greenville, MI, her hubby Dan, daughter Chris and her hubby Mark were joined last minute by our Talisman winemaker Scott and his wife Marta. Lively conversation, good food and wine and since they were all dog people I got tons of pets and belly rubs! This morning Mom and I stayed in bed until almost eight! Now she is thinking about going shopping…so much for vineyard work.

As for me, I came downstairs this morning, had breakfast and a pit stop outside and then promptly went back up to bed. Since it looks like there won’t be any vineyard work this morning I might as well get some beauty sleep. Harvest in two days! I will need the extra rest!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXo3NFqkaRM

I Love You!

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Filed under Food, Pinot Noir, Vineyard

Brix

Brix (bricks): “Relative density scale used in the sugar and winemaking industry, it indicates the percent of cane sugar (sucrose) by weight (grams per 100 milliliter of water) in a solution or juice of unfermented grapes in degrees Brix (°Bx). One °Bx equals one percent (so, if grapes are picked at 20 degrees Brix they consist of 20% sugar) and, in winemaking, the alcohol concentration of the finished wine is estimated to be 0.55 times the °Bx of the grape juice.”     ’nuff said.

I know you have all seen this picture before:

That’s because at this stage of the game there are very few changes in the vineyard and not too many tasks to do except an occasional watering. What we get to do now is sit and wait until the grapes are judged ready to harvest. Presently we are at around 22 degrees Brix, and we will pick our grapes at around 23 degrees Brix. However, as luck would have it, that is not the only consideration. Around the same time that the sugar content of the grapes rise, the winemakers are also looking for well-developed seeds where the pulp of the grape has pulled away from the seed leaving it brown and crunchy. And of course the winemakers are looking for flavors that are full and ripe. As we move into October and the days get shorter there are a couple of roadblocks that can derail the project. (No big surprise there!)  As we all know, most plants react to shorter days by shutting down and preparing for dormancy…it is no different in the vineyard. Once a vineyard has shut down, the ripening process is pretty much done so it is a race to get the clusters off the vines. Rain…did I mention rain? Rain goes hand in hand with rot. The vineyard has already been “blessed” with a small shower last Sunday, with the possibility of a few more next week. But in the midst of our Northern California Indian summer the days will remain warm enough to hopefully bump up the ripening process. Just a few more days to the finish…we are estimating 10 days to 2 weeks until harvest! Keep your fingers crossed!!!

Montana

Wow! Did I have a great time in Big Sky Country! The highlight was a big hike to a mountain lake for lunch and a little fishing. It was also such a treat to spend time with my buddies, Gracie, Annie, Rambo (even though he was a bit too amorous for my taste), and their people Joe and Beth, Bill and Dottie, and Roger. Many thanks again to Joe and Beth for their hospitality!

Love and kisses, Honey

“I’m in love with Montana. For other states I have admiration, respect, recognition, even some affection. But with Montana it is love. And it’s difficult to analyze love when you’re in it.” ― John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America

P.S.  Those aren’t big bees nests, they are charcoal kilns!

“The Canyon Creek kilns produced charcoal needed to smelt ore at Glendale. These kilns today, are partially preserved and protected by State Park Officials for future historical enjoyment.”

 – http://glendalemontana.com/Artifacts%20from%20Glendale%20Montana.htm#

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Filed under Fly fishing, Pinot Noir, Vineyard