Test #4 for Grape Ripeness

uneven ripening, 3 more weeks to go

uneven ripening, 1 more week to go

I thought that we would harvest the red grapes during the weekend of August 10-11, but after testing the grapes, I have decided that we will wait one more week, and harvest the red grapes August 17-18.  Here are the numbers from test #4 (done Tuesday, August 6, 2013) for those who are curious:

Sangiovese piccolo 3.42 pH, 19 degrees Brix, 8.4 TA (pear)

Sangiovese grosso 3.54 pH, 20 degrees Brix, 8.25 TA (overripe plum)

Cabernet Sauvignon 3.29 pH, 17 degrees Brix, 9.75 TA (green apple–definitely under ripe)

Merlot 3.56 pH, 19.2 degrees Brix, 7.20 TA (mellow)

Most importantly, I am still seeing some green grapes in the vineyard, some green seeds, and the peduncles have not hardened off quite yet, so I think to optimize the quality of the grapes, I should wait one more week.  Hope the birds don’t get all this fruit!

Some of the numbers have not moved much since test #3, but the flavors are developing, so I have confidence that the grapes are still ripening.