Everyone breathed a sigh of relief as we picked the last grapes on Thursday morning. The grape variety was Frontenac and both the quality and quantity was outstanding. On Friday we processed the grapes and started to clean things up.
This week, we’ve cleaned the harvest equipment including the harvester, bins, and carts and have returned the carts to the warehouse. We have also cleaned and returned the cellar equipment used only during harvest to the warehouse. This includes the grape elevator, destemmer-crusher, must pump and pump pre-feed, and a few other pieces of equipment used only during harvest.
One of the vineyard crew members started mowing again and will probably have several days work to get all of the vineyards mowed. We will also be taking down the bird kites and fixing trellis wires and broken posts.
Finally, we need to order replacements for the vines that have died. They will be delivered in late May or early June of 2022 for planting.
Compared to previous years, harvest was fast and furious in 2021. Our vineyards are located in a part of Iowa that had a decent amount of rain and soil moisture for the entire growing season. We had close to record yields of all grapes except Edelweiss. Most important, the quality was very good. We are going to have some really good wine from this harvest.