2014 vintage was of average quality. We measured phenolics in the grapes before harvest for the first time and again during fermentation – the levels were 30% below 2013. Volume was also down to below 1 ton due the lingering Eutypa infections which had forced us to cut off more arms and pull out 60 vines. We harvested early October with a large crew of 18 including for the first time a dedicated photographer: Ken Ogle.
Before every harvest we need to thoroghly clean all equipment; this takes almost a day
Dawn before harvest
This is what the vineyard looked like in the morning before harvest
We had a large crew of 18 so the picking did not take long
Lunch was prepared by Donna and Rosemary Rossi
We sorted the bunches using new improved sorting grids
Destemming & berry sorting
A large part of the crew stayed on for destemming and berry sorting.
All good berries are in the fermentation tank - time to celebrate. You may wonder why we all needed hard liquor to unwind
Punchdown during fermentation
During fermentation the cap is punched down 2-3 times a day while the fan is running to air out escaping gases. (Oct. 23)
Early pressing of cap
David Fenyvesi is scooping out the cap (mostly berry skins) into a bocket which is then emptied into the press below (Oct 25). After the press is run, the juice is added back into the fermentation tank to complete fermentation while the pressed skins are distributed in the vineyard to augment the soil