We have grapes!! Given the amount of Black Rot that we experienced this year we don’t have as many grapes as we would like, but we will take what we can get after 3 previous seasons of no grapes harvested off of our acre of Syrah. On August 9th we sprayed the vineyard with Seven to try an alleviate the problem we started having with Green June Beetles. The Grapes were only at a Brix of 18 with green seeds, way too soon to pick. Aaron and I went to pick up our girls in Colorado from my parents and we celebrated my birthday while there by taking a train ride out and back into Antinito, CO. What a way to spend the day!!! When we arrived back in Oklahoma it was much to late to check on the grapes but the next day after work I went over to check ‘em out. Devastation awaited me. The Bird call was still going but so were the June beetles. I told Aaron we would have to harvest the next night. (Even though its much better to harvest in the morning we really didn’t have a choice. After a full day of farming and getting the Schoolhouse yard mowed for an Airbnb guest for Aaron and a full day of teaching school for me we took the girls out and picked the grapes we had.
They amounted to 4 full 5-gallon buckets. If we hadn’t had so much Rot and bug problems we would have had at least 10 times that much. C’est la vie. I’ve learned to say “there is always next year”. We stored those grapes in cold storage for a couple days till we could have time to properly process the grapes. If these grapes turn out the way our grapes did in 2009 the bottles will be around $25, they were that good. Of course this will take a few years to produce and only make a couple cases if we’re lucky.
The Syrah had a Brix of 18 that I rose to 22. That way the end wine product will have an alcohol content of approximately 11%. From the 4 five gallon buckets of grapes we ended up with approximately 11 gallons of Must.
Aaron took a beef to Market 54 to be processed and we got the go ahead to pick it up and deliver it to our customers on the 26th. It’s always great to make that delivery, but when it’s so hot outside having all of the frozen meat in the cab makes it really cold inside.
On Saturday the 23rd we picked Norton grapes in Banner, OK for our Sparkling Glitz label. We came home with approximately 135 gallons of must at a Brix level of 20 degrees. We fermented on the skins over the next week and when pressed we were able to get about 92 gallons of juice.
On Saturday August 30th we picked Chambourcin and Traminette grapes in Kingfisher with respective Brix levels of 22 and 21. The Traminette made approximately 12 gallons of must after being pressed, and the Chambourcin will be left on the skins for a week before being pressed off.
Its been a pretty productive harvest all around.
Now the waiting begins.