Saturday, September 25, 2010

Pinot Noir Pick - This Morning

This morning we picked the majority of our own Pinot Noir grapes for Foursight. We picked 114, 115, 777 and Pommard clones on several rootstocks, the average ripeness between 23 and just over 24 brix. The grapes look great and the flavors are there, so we're very excited about this vintage. We have just a little more Pommard to come in this coming week, then Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon and we'll be done! Well, with picking anyway. Winemaking of course follows.

We're all exhausted today; the night before your first pick is always a little like Christmas Eve when you're a child. You spend half the night tossing and turning, waiting for the morning. Then up about 5:30, and out into the vineyard to start picking as soon as it's light enough to see what you're doing. Follow the pick with a full day in the tasting room and we'll be ready for bed early tonight.

Today we had a wealth of family here to help with harvest, to sort and pull leaves out of the bins, plus pull leaves off the vines ahead of the pickers to make their job just that much easier and cleaner. It worked out perfectly -- we almost had too many people, in fact, to fit around the bin. We would always prefer to have too many to too few, so we're not complaining.

The vines seem ready to be done for the season. This year has run about three weeks late for us, so I would imagine they're not used to being asked to hang on to their fruit quite this long. It's funny how you can see signs in the vines and in the way the fruit ripens that indicates they're ready to be picked and would prefer to be preparing themselves for rest, for dormancy and winter. Frankly, I don't blame them one bit -- I think we all feel at least a bit that way during harvest.

As I did some video for our sparkling wine pick, I've opted to just post a few photos of the morning's work:

The moon above the vineyard, just as we start to pick.

The crew picks four rows wide, around the tractor.

Most of the family helps sort and pull leaves from the bins.

These guys are lightning fast.

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