Tag Archive for: grape growing

Chardonnay + Sangiovese Harvest 2018

Saturday, July 28, 7:00 am

21724 Hill Road, Salado (I-35 exit 275, head east on Hill Road, look for vineyard on the right)

Make your Instagram friends super jealous! 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.

Hecho en Queso will be at the vineyard offereing breakfast tacos for sale.

After harvest in the morning, you can join us at the winery to watch grape processing. Our grapes will be de-stemmed and crushed using a machine then pressed and prepared for fermentation.

This will be the first half of the 2018 harvest at our vineyard.  The cabernet sauvignon + merlot harvest will be scheduled in August.

 

Cabernet Sauvignon Harvest 2016

One last chance this year to harvest grapes! Our Cabernet Sauvignon harvest will be Saturday, September 3.

How to Get There
The vineyard is at 21724 Hill Road, Salado, TX, 76571. Exit 279 I-35 and we’re just a quarter mile up Hill Road on the east side of I-35. The vineyard is on the right side of Hill Road. You’ll see the vines from the road!

What to Bring
We will start bright and early at 7 am and go until all the grapes are picked, usually before noon. Wear comfortable, cool clothing. You’ll want to bring a hat, sunscreen, bug spray, and lots of water to start with. We’ll provide everything else you need, including more cold water. If you have a favorite pair of pruners feel free to bring them, but we’ll have plenty for you. We recommend tennis shoes because sometimes there is stinging nettle or a hidden ant mound but you can wear sandals if you like. Sometimes folks like to wear light cotton gloves to protect your manicure or help prevent wasp stings, but there are no thorns on grape vines. Harvest is family friendly, so feel free to bring the kiddos…#Wineryboy has been picking grapes since he was 1!

The After Party
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 a machine then prepared for fermentation.

RSVP
If you’re coming, text your RSVP to 254.466.5813 or RSVP on Facebook.

FOOD!
Our friends at Hecho en Queso will be out at the vineyard until 10:30 or 11 the morning of Cab Sauv harvest, September 3. They’ll be serving up breakfast tacos and more, so make sure to come ready to eat!

Halfway through Harvest 2016!

watch out! it is going over!

watch out! it is going over!

Hey there, I wanted to give you a quick report of how things are going around here.  I don’t have long–if you look closely at that picture, you’ll see that malbec there is about to “boil over” and ferment right on out of that barrel!

This week I’ve got 1.5 tons of malbec fermenting from Temple, TX and .75 tons of merlot from our Salado vineyard fermenting.  We have already fermented the chardonnay, sangiovese and tempranillo.

So what’s left?  CABERNET SAUVINGNON!  Next weekend, Saturday, August 20, our friends at 3 Texans Vineyard will harvest their cab.  Follow the link and give them a holler if you would like to harvest grapes with them.  They are near Temple, Texas.

I haven’t even scheduled the harvest of our cab yet.  The weather is calling for a bit cooler temperatures, so hopefully that will help the plants ripen those grapes some more.  I will let you know soon, but probably harvest August 27 or September 3, 2016.

Well, that’s all for now, I’ve got some punching to do!

Cabernet Sauvignon Harvest–August 22

is that YOU in the big hat, picking grapes?

is that YOU in the big hat, picking grapes?

Saturday, August 22nd at 7:00 am, this is the last bunch for the 2015 season, and we welcome you to join us! The vineyard is at 21724 Hill Road, Salado, TX, 76571.

Wear sunscreen, bug spray and a big hat. If you have a favorite pair of pruners then bring them, but we’ll have plenty for you. Dress for heat, but be prepared for anything. I recommend shoes and socks because sometimes there is pigweed that stings or a hidden ant mound and I prefer a little protection for my toesies, but you can wear sandals if you like. Sometimes folks like to wear light cotton gloves, that might help prevent wasp stings, but there are no thorns, so gloves not required.

Families are welcome, the work isn’t hard, just the heat can be a bit discouraging. We will pick until all grapes are harvested, usually around 11 or 12 noon.

If you’re coming, text your RSVP to 254.466.5813, and I will let you know if the plan changes. Otherwise, see you there!

Then join us in the afternoon at the winery to witness the last crush of the season.  The cab sauv grapes will be destemmed, crushed and then I’ll add some yeast and let them start the fermentation.  The air conditioning is set to “cold” and this is the best time of the year to come check it all out.

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!

April 2015 in the Vineyard

look at these Mommy!

look at these Mommy!

Me and my helper, #wineryboy are keeping a close eye on the grapes as they develop this spring.  We have received plenty of rain, so the vines are growing like crazy.  The grapes are just tiny little balls, preparing to bloom.  In another week or two, they will be tiny blossoms. Domesticated grapes self-pollinate, so if the bees are on vacation, no big deal.  This is not true for wild mustang grapes which have a male and a female plant which have to be nearby for pollination to happen.

The biggest salvo that Mother Nature can throw at me right now is in the form of mildew.  I refer constantly to the chart at winegrapes.tamu.edu to keep up-to-date with a good fungicide program.  The next biggest threat is springtime hail.  There is nothing we can do for that, so we hold our breath and gulp our wine when the skies get dark.

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Sangiovese Harvest Saturday

premium grapesSangiovese Harvest is this Saturday, August 23rd at 7 AM in our vineyard at 21724 Hill Road, Salado, TX. Vineyard is very close to I-35, exit 279. Everyone is welcome to join us!

We recommend sunscreen, bug spray and a big hat. If you have a favorite pair of pruners then bring them, but we’ll have plenty for you. Dress for heat, but be prepared for anything. I recommend shoes and socks because sometimes there is pigweed or nettle that stings or a hidden ant mound and I prefer a little protection for my toesies, but you can wear sandals if you like. Sometimes folks like to wear light cotton gloves, that might help prevent wasp stings, but there are no thorns, so gloves not required.

Families are welcome, the work isn’t hard, just the heat can be a bit discouraging. We will pick until all grapes are harvested, usually around 11.

If you’re coming, or maybe you slept a little late and want to see if we’re still picking, text your RSVP to 254.466.5813, and I will let you know if the plan changes. Otherwise, see you there!

——->>Oh yeah! Even if you don’t come out to the vineyard, this is the best time to stop by the winery and see the wine making in action! Hear the noise of the crusher and destemmer and see the yeast do their thing.  We might even make you help punch down the cap.  3 Texans Vineyard will be bringing their cabernet sauvignon this weekend as well so lots of winemaking to do.

Chardonnay Harvest on Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

picking grapes is easy

picking grapes is easy

 Harvest begins at our vineyard on Wednesday, August 6th at 7:00 am and we welcome you to join us! The vineyard is at 21724 Hill Road, Salado, TX, 76571.

Wear sunscreen, bug spray and a big hat.  If you have a favorite pair of pruners then bring them, but we’ll have plenty for you.  Dress for heat, but be prepared for anything.  I recommend shoes and socks because sometimes there is pigweed that stings or a hidden ant mound and I prefer a little protection for my toesies, but you can wear sandals if you like.  Sometimes folks like to wear light cotton gloves, that might help prevent wasp stings, but there are no thorns, so gloves not required.

Families are welcome, the work isn’t hard, just the heat can be a bit discouraging.  We will pick until all grapes are harvested, usually around 11 or 12 noon.

If you’re coming, text your RSVP to 254.466.5813, and I will let you know if the plan changes.  Otherwise, see you there!

[pe2-image src=”http://lh3.ggpht.com/-02o0vnPdOhE/U9exu-ko7XI/AAAAAAABjPY/wSbnMfLr3fY/s144-c-o/CAM01843.jpg” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/102153593012294996679/201407302?authkey=-J8BIktSVaQ#6041492845769583986″ caption=”” type=”image” alt=”CAM01843.jpg” ]

 

When is Harvest 2014

merlot & chard from our Salado vineyard

merlot and chard from our Salado vineyard

I am getting anxious for harvest!  The yeast is on order and I am ready to start soon, but when!?!

Tested Chardonnay yesterday and got pH 3.45, Brix 19.5, tastes like a pink lady apple!

So here goes the tentative plan…

I’m expecting activities to kick off on Saturday, August 2nd.

Right now I’m expecting Belle Crest to harvest tempranillo on Saturday, August 2.  I would like to test their grapes again on Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon, July 26 or 27th to verify that they have been ripening as projected.  Right now the 10 day forecast has a significant chance of rain for Friday, August 1st.  This could be a bad thing because the grapes tend to soak up the water quickly.  Last year it rained 48 hours prior to picking our merlot and I was very disappointed as the resulting wine was too watery.  So this may throw a monkey wrench in the plan, or the 10 day forecast could be wrong (but I sure would welcome the cooler temps).  Journey Vineyards will bring their grapes as well for processing, so I must remember to keep them informed.

I am likely to also pick the chardonnay in our vineyard the same time, August 2nd.  I am torn because the flavors are getting to where I want, but the Brix isn’t quite there.  So they could easily hang a little longer than that.  If we get rain, I will definitely push that harvest to during the week.

On Saturday, August 9th we’re expecting Belle Crest to harvest malbec.  We may harvest our merlot as well.  The malbec will be the biggest amount coming at one time, so we may push the merlot off so that we don’t have too much to process.  I want to process the chardonnay and have it out of the way prior to the malbec arriving.

The cabernet sauvignon and sangiovese still have a while to go in my vineyard, so maybe the 16th or 23rd.

Stay tuned!

Trying to Predict Harvest

testing for ripenessSo here  it is, almost mid-July and time to test the grapes and try to predict harvest.  We tested the pH, TA and Brix along with visual examination, smell and taste testing.  Pictured here is tempranillo from Journey Vineyards, merlot from our Salado vineyard and chardonnay from our Salado vineyard.

As you can see, the tempranillo has very red juice.  Winemaker’s dream!  The merlot hasn’t developed much color yet, and the chardonnay on the right, well, as a white, we don’t want too much color.  You can also see the seeds in the picture.  Still plenty of green seeds.

So the statistics?

From Belle Crest, Tempranillo: pH 3.21, Brix 19.2, TA 9.2    Malbec pH 2.94, Brix 16, TA 16 g/L plum, Cabernet Sauvignon pH 2.91, Brix 16.8, TA 17 g/L tart like orange juice

We predict Tempranillo harvest August 2nd, Malbec August 9th and Cab August 16 for Belle Crest

From our vineyard, Chardonnay was 1/2 green seeds and 1/2 brown, starting to golden, smells like apple cider, brown juice, green apple or pineapple flavor, pH3.21, TA 14 g/L, 14.5 degrees Brix, predict harvest on August 2nd

Merlot, too many green berries! very green seeds, brown juice, sweet carmel and plum smell, tart like orange juice taste, pH 3.08, TA 12.4 g/L, 12 degrees brix, predict harvest on August 9th

From Journey Vineyards, Tempranillo has green & beige seeds, almost fully colored grapes, nice pink juice, grape bubblegum and applesauce flavors, pH 3.15, TA 10 g/L, 13 degrees Brix, predict harvest August 9th

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