Sheldon Haynie
 
August 2, 2013 | Sheldon Haynie

Harvest Planning

We've had early veraison this year, and the birds were out in force before August 1st. That's about 2-3 weeks ahead of recent years. With our expanded vineyard acreage, harvest this year looks to be a much larger operation. Current projections show a crop load in the 4-6 ton per acre range, though we may do some cluster thinning in the Mourvedre and Grenache to compensate for low vigot. Multiply that by 36 acres and you are seeing some serious tonnage possible. 

Lightheart Cellars is only physically capable of aging about 50 barrels a year, so we only need to have about 25 tons of red grapes out of the more than 100 tons we are growing. We will sell some to other wineries, and probably end up letting the birds have a good portion in the larger vineyards as we really don't have a home for 7 acres of Syrah, and 12 of Merlot. 

With a few years of yield records we will be able to more accurately predict crop, and modulate it earlier in the season, the lesson learned this year was to have pruned to one bud per spur and shoot thinned earlier and more severely than the industry norm of two canes per spur. 

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