The 2015 vintage was of average quality and very low volume. Both were the result of first a bad fruit set in spring due to weather conditions, i.e. few berries per bunch (bad luck) and, second, mildew infection due to poorly timed preventative sprays in early summer (bad management). As a consequence we harvested only 1080 lbs of grape bunches. After sorting out mildew infected shrivelled grapes we ended up with only 840 lbs of grapes in the fermentation tank – barely enough for a single barrel of wine.
The harvest crew included old timers (Steve & Rosemary Rossi, Greg & Andy Martin, David & Erika Fenyvesi, Ken & Jane Ogle [our photographer], Matt & Michelle Crosby, Steve Rossi Jr & Stevie) and newcommers (Mike & Cheryl Chilcoat, Pete & Whitney St.Pierre, Bruce Grant & Matthew and Nicolas Vonderheyden).
We started at 9 am and finished at 12:30 pm. For each vine we used a dedicated bucket so we could keep track of yield per vine as well as the 3 different clone/rootstock combinations (blue, white & red buckets)
Lunch, as usual, prepared by Donna with invaluable assistance from Rosemary
Sorting bunches, destemming and berry sorting
Due to popular demand we arraged for chairs, so the heavy sorting could be done sitting down. The low yield permitted fermenting each grape clone in its own bucket inside the fermentation tank. The whole process took 4 hours, from 3 to 7 pm.
Dinner, again prepared by Donna & Rosemary was served for the hardy who lasted the whole day.