The vineyard crew collected grape samples and then tested the juice in the lab for titratable acidity, pH (strength of acid), and sugar. Generally, acids drop and sugar increases as we approach the time to harvest. We’d like to see acid below 10 grams per liter and would be quite happy at 8 grams per liter. We’d like to see sugar at anywhere from 17 to 25% depending on variety. High sugars in some varieties are accompanied by undesirable aromas and flavors, so we tend to harvest those varieties early and at lower sugar levels.
We harvested all of the St. Pepin on Sunday because the fruit was ready and because we expected wet weather on Monday. We were reminded that Mother Nature is in charge regardless of what the weatherman says. We started the St. Pepin harvest at about 3 a.m. and had harvested this grape at Meadowcreek and Newport Lane Vineyards when it started to rain hard. We had to wait for the rain to stop and then we moved the harvester down to Maple Woods Vineyard and were able to harvest the St. Pepin there beginning at about 10 a.m. The grapes were put in one of our refrigerated trucks until Monday when the cellar staff crushed them.
This week, we will remove the netting on the Marquette on Tuesday and then harvest on Wednesday.