We’ve started the preparation of the harvest estimate. This is a multi-step process that starts with a sample count of clusters on vines of each variety in each block. We make a big assumption that the grape bunches are going to be the same weight as last year. By multiplying the number of clusters times the cluster weights, we get a harvest estimate for each variety in each block. These estimates are added up for each variety and then adjusted for harvest loss we experience when we mechanically harvest. We compare the final numbers to numbers for past years to get a reality check and then the cellar will know how much fruit of each variety to expect. They can then start deciding which tanks will be used for each batch.
The recent rains arrived in torrents, each for just a few minutes. Because the ground was so dry, the rain sank in with little run-off and no damage. We are still going to get our irrigation system tuned up as much as possible without turning it on.
Wetter weather increases the importance of spraying for fungus, so spraying will be an important part of this week’s work.
The younger vines at our Maple Woods vineyard need to be tied regularly to train them to grow on the trellis. This will allow more morning sun exposure for the fruit as well as keep the canopy open so air can move through it to keep fungus under control.
We continue work to prepare the ground for the six acres of the new vineyard we will plant in 2017. At the Maple Woods vineyard, the vineyard floor is well established grass that was originally seeded in 1997. It will be regularly mowed until the posts are pounded in September. In addition, we are killing the grass in the rows in which the vines will be planted. Because this grass is well established, it takes several applications of weed killer. At the Tassel Ridge vineyard, this is much simpler because the grass was planted in April where beans have grown in the past.