Getting Ready for Harvest
We've been actively pruning the vineyard, positioning shoots, and even removing some secondary clusters from the vines to strengthen the others. A dry spring and summer (severe drought) has gifted us with the largest crop of grapes this little vineyard has ever seen. There is more than twice the amount of fruit hanging today than there we have ever seen here. These roots go deep and find the little water these plants need. They are not tomato plants.
Brianna, Frontenac Gris, Niagara, and other American varietals are hanging low - heavy with fruit. The wild pink varietals that are planted around the property have bunches of tens of grapes. Previously, a bunch of 6 was a large bunch. These wild pink give the strawberry notes to Red One.
3 new rows of Niagara have beautiful clusters on the sandy soil near the corner of the property.
6 new rows of Brianna and 8 rows of Frontenac Gris have reached maturity and are ready to give forth some wonderful, large clusters and hundreds of pounds of fruit. Last week a wire broke and and staple pulled from a post because of the crop weight.
Another dozen plus rows of Brianna have many small clusters that will contribute to some wine; their full potential will be realized in future years.
Prairie Star, Orion and Alpenglow have reached maturity and have full bunches hanging from the top wires. I can't wait to taste these grapes.
Only a few Frontenac grapes are showing some color. All varietals should start changing in the next few weeks. Typically, Brianna and Prairie Star will lead the color shift with their gold and yellow respectively. The reds, pinks, and green grapes will follow.
So now is the time to get all of the equipment ready for harvest. New tanks are being bought to hold this new, greater volume of wine. The winery is being re-plumbed and re-arranged to make it easier to move wine between vessels. New picking bins are on order to handle the volume here and with our contract growers.