We finished up harvest with our Sabrevois at Tassel Ridge Winery on Monday, September 19. Our photographer used his drone to capture some great harvest photos which you can view here. We started at sunrise when the fruit was cool. Normally, we’d start at 3 a.m. but we expected to have a short day of harvesting and the weather was projected to remain comfortable at about 70°F. With the sun barely up, the vines looked pretty dark at first. Each 500 foot long row takes about 4 minutes to harvest when everything is running right. That translates into about 36 minutes per acre. Notice how heavy the fruit load was. We were very happy with the harvest in terms of both quality and quantity.
In recent years, we’ve been growing more Frontenac that we can use. So, this year, we are removing several hundred Frontenac vines at Newport Lane Vineyard. They will be replaced with Foch when we plant next May. We are also getting post locations marked at Tassel Ridge Vineyard and will have the posts pounded in starting in the next week or so.
We will be spraying fungicide next week when the weather cooperates. And, we will be spraying a herbicide cocktail (very carefully) to burn down the space under future rows of vines that will be planted next year. This will give us a head start on controlling weeds that compete with the vines for water.
Finally, it has been three years since we had a soil nutrient study done in our vineyards. This fall, we plan to have all four vineyards surveyed for the nutrients that are important to grapes. We use an outside contractor for this work and they take soil plugs on fixed centers throughout the vineyards. The results together with what we learned from the petiole analyses conducted last July will tell first if there are any specific nutrients that are low or missing and secondly, how much of these nutrients the vines are taking up. If the nutrients are in the soil but the vines aren’t taking them up, then we are likely to have pH problems or a significant excess of one nutrient that impacts the ability of the vines to use what is in the ground.