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Merlot + Cabernet Sauvignon Harvest 2017

SATURDAY, August 5, 2017

Come pick grapes with us at the vineyard at 21724 Hill Road, Salado, TX! You can even eat some straight from the vine! Harvest is family friendly. Wear comfortable, cool clothing and tennis shoes. You’ll want to bring a hat, sunscreen, water, and bug spray. We’ll provide everything else you need. We will start bright and early at 7am and go until all the grapes are picked….#Wineryboy has been picking grapes since he was 1!

After harvest in the morning, you can join us at the winery to watch grape processing. The grapes will be de-stemmed and crushed using machines then prepared for fermentation. By late afternoon we will add the yeast and alcohol formation begins!

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Harvest will (probably) continue Saturday, August 22, 2015

notice the sprinkling of green grapes

notice the sprinkling of green grapes

The most important wine making decision is “when to harvest?”

At this point we have harvested 75% of the vineyard.  All that remains is the cabernet sauvingnon.  I went out and took a random sample yesterday, and what did I get?  Well, by the #’s, it looks fantastic!  Brix 24 degrees and pH 3.76, woohoo!

But, the truth is that about 15% of the grapes are still green, and that is no good for the quality wine we make at Salado Winery.  The photo with this post was taken on August 12, 2015.  The weather is not going to change much in the next 10 days, so?

So when will it be ready?  Well I am hoping for Saturday the 22nd.  I am trying to keep an eye on the pH, which will rise quickly, because I don’t want it to go sky-high.

I had this problem in 2013, and I compensated for a little under ripeness by blending with the 2012.  Another common technique is to use delestage to remove green seeds before they add any stringency.

Check back for an update next week!

Time for SEX in the Vineyard

sex in the vineyard

sex in the vineyard

I admit it, I am just trying to get your attention.  The sex I am referring to is the procreation of baby grapes.  Bloom has started.  What does that mean?  Let me copy from Ed Hellman on the Agrilife Extension page:

The grape flower does not have conspicuous petals, instead, the petals are fused into a green structure termed the calyptra, but commonly referred to as the cap. The cap encloses the reproductive organs and other tissues within the flower. A flower consists of a single pistil (female organ) and fivestamens, each tipped with an anther (male organ). The pistil is roughly conical in shape, with the base disproportionately larger than the top, and the tip (called the stigma) slightly flared. The broad base of the pistil is the ovary, and it consists of two internal compartments, each having two ovules containing an embryo sac with a single egg. The anthers produce many yellow pollen grains, which contain the sperm. Wild grapevines, rootstocks (and a few cultivated varieties such as St. Pepin) have either pistillate (female) or staminate male flowers — that is, the entire vine is either male or female. Vines with female, pistillate flowers need nearby vines with staminate or perfect flowers to produce fruit. The majority of commercial grapevine varieties have perfect flowers, that is, both male and female components.

An individual grape flower is shown with floral parts labeled.

The period of time during which flowers are open (the calyptra has fallen) is calledbloom (also flowering or anthesis), and can last from 1 to 3 weeks depending on weather conditions. Viticulturists variously refer to full bloom as the stage at which either approximately 50% or two-thirds of the capshave loosened or fallen from the flowers. Bloom typically occurs between 50 and 80 days after budburst.

Picture with grape parts labeled also from “Parts of the Grape Vine: Flowers and Fruit” by Ed Hellman on the Agrilife Extension website

Time to get the pruning done!

Wineryboy says the sun is out and it is time to prune the grapes!14 - 1

2013 Harvest–Merlot & Sangiovese complete & Cab Sauvignon TBD

IMAG0467Thanks to lots of help from great friends, we’ve completed the harvest of the sangiovese and merlot.  We picked from 7 am, Saturday, August 17 until 12:30 pm.  Then we grabbed some great tacos at Sylvia’s Taco truck and now we’ll be crushing grapes all afternoon.

Not quite sure when we’ll harvest the cabernet sauvignon yet, probably in 2 weeks!