Itasca led the harvest schedule this year. In fact, this is our first harvest of Itasca which is growing in our Tassel Ridge Vineyard. We got a small batch totaling about 730 pounds or 0.365 tons. We will make about 50 gallons of wine that we will use to better understand what we can do with Itasca. We probably won’t bottle Itasca for sale this year.

Itasca is a white grape that was developed at the University of Minnesota. It became available only 3–4 years ago.

We continue to pull samples for testing and expect that Brianna and Edelweiss will be the next grapes to be harvested. We have also collected grape samples and have sent them to Iowa State University for YAN analysis. YAN is yeast assimilable Nitrogen. This is Nitrogen that the yeast can use for food. The desired amount of YAN varies by variety, but we want enough so that the yeast will complete the fermentation of the grapes without having too much YAN. Too much or too little YAN will result in off-flavors and aromas.

Our grape testing and measurement is giving us numbers that will help us improve our harvest estimate. Of course, there is continuing maintenance of everything we’ll use during harvest.