Sheldon Haynie
September 7, 2012 | Harvest, Vineyards | Sheldon Haynie

Third Harvest: it's getting real or "tons of Fun"

We are looking into the abyss a bit this week, planning for our third commercial harvest. We expect to crush somewhere in the range of 20-25 tons this year, between what we are farming, what we have contracted and what people are offering us as opportunities. 

Jane and I have invested in a 2" Diameter Flexible Impeller pump that should be able to move wet must. This will be a key labor saving device, as it replaces our trusty red 5 gal buckets. We will still have to shovel from the pick bins on the back of a truck or trailer into the destemmer, and then hopefully that is the last hand labor until we are handling bottles. 

We will be harvesting Cabernet, Merlot and Petit Syrah from Soli Deo Gloria, expecting 1-2 tons each depending on bird losses. Athena's vineyard should yield 16 tons of Cab Franc and Merlot, though the birds have taken a toll on the Merlot up near the powerline. Behlmer vineyard's Colombard is looking especially good this year, and the Coop vineyard's mystery grapes and our Estate will round it out. 

We've managed to retain our contract with the Thomson vineyard for Pinot and Chardonnay, even though they were made an offer for their whole crop at a premium. Future Pinot prices will have to reflect that unfortunately. 

And then there's the recent offers of Syrah, Malbec and Chenin Blanc, all in the last week, where there are opportunities to broaden our lines, which we have to fit into our production plan of barrels, fermenters and space. 

The first brix readings are in, and they are in the 19-20 range, so we're about 3-4 weeks out at this point. October should really be "crush" based on the season so far. 



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