Tag Archive for: grapes

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.


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!

Invite your friends and follow the Merlot + Cab Harvest on Facebook

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.

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

Test for harvest #3

[pe2-image src=”http://lh4.ggpht.com/-IDR7nI8Rusg/Ue1MMBP-fbI/AAAAAAAAKYE/1tmbRqIAQDk/s144-c-o/IMAG0299.jpg” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/102153593012294996679/20130801?authkey=b-YJ_-aBRpw#5903458455930174898″ caption=”” type=”image” alt=”IMAG0299.jpg” ]

While we picked the chardonnay, I was quite struck by how far behind the reds seem to be.  So time to run the tests again:

Merlot 19.8 degrees Brix, 3.55 pH, 7.5 TA (bland-no flavor)

Sangiovese 18.3 degrees Brix, 3.29 pH, 9.0 TA (strawberry-slightly tart)

Cabernet Sauvignon 16.8 degrees Brix, 3.04 pH, 10.5 TA (TART!)

Based on these numbers, I am predicting that harvest will be Saturday, August 10 & 11, at least for the merlot and sangiovese.


We also tested the grapes from Belle Crest Vineyard:

Malbec 20.3 degrees Brix, 3.55 pH, 6.0 TA (fig)

Tempranillo 22 degrees Brix, 3.74 pH, 4.5 TA (pear)

Cabernet Sauvignon 19 degrees Brix, 3.29 pH, 7.5 TA (nectarine)

Their cab sauv looks to be a bit higher than ours, but their sample is not a true random sample since it did not include the green grapes.  For our sample, we tried to make sure that we had a truly random sample and included green berries.

<<<<<<<<<UPDATE: RED harvest at Salado Vineyard MOVED to AUGUST 17 & 18 after test #4>>>>>>>>>

2013 Chardonnay Harvest July 27-28

chardonnay sample picked on July 20.  Notice mostly dark brown seeds and some beige.

chardonnay sample picked on July 20. Notice mostly dark brown seeds and some beige.

It is time!  Chardonnay harvest begins Saturday morning, 7 am, July 27.  It will likely continue on Sunday July 28 at 7 am and you are officially invited to join us for Harvest 2013!  We usually pick grapes until 11 am and you’re welcome to come for as little or as long as you like.  Come for the fun and camaraderie!  Kids welcome.

If you have favorite pruners, bring them, otherwise we have extras for you.  Please wear a hat, sunscreen, bug spray, and sturdy shoes. (I like to wear old sneakers and socks so that the pigweed doesn’t get me).  Some folks like to wear light cotton gloves, but they are not necessary.  Beware of the wasps, fireants, mosquitos, and be prepared for the heat.  Watch out for the mean old mockingbirds who think they own the vineyard!  I haven’t seen any snakes this year, but there’s always a first.

Also, Sunday afternoon and the days following harvest are the best times to visit the winery and see the wine making in action.  We can always put extra hands to work, so if you don’t like to get up early in the morning, come by in the afternoon and be part of the bucket brigade.

The vineyard is at 21724 Hill Road, Salado, TX 76571.  Feel free to send me an email to june @ saladowinery.com.  If you are lost the morning of harvest, call/text us on cell phone, (254) 466-5813.  More harvest updates will be available, and they are tentatively listed on our homepage under “vineyard” or on ourfacebook page http://www.facebook.com/SaladoWinery.

Don’t pick the grapes yet!

hey DinoHey Dino!  Don’t pick the grapes!  It isn’t time yet.  I know you’re almost 11 months old, and you’ve been waiting a long time for harvest because then it will be time for your birthday, but it’s TOO SOON!  Those are cabernet sauvignon grapes and they still have to go through veraison–they have to turn RED first.  I hope you’re not colorblind?  You’re gonna taste them?  TART, aren’t they?  Those grapes won’t make good wine yet.  They still need 6-7 more weeks of ripening Dino.

dino eating green cabernet grapes

Dino, maybe you should get back in your pack and up on my back?  We’ve got to get this vineyard ready for netting.  Soon these grapes will turn red and then the birds will try to get them.  Plus, look at all these weeds.  We’ve got mowing and weeding to get done.  So we need to get back to work!


2012 Salado Winery Harvest Statistics

time to ferment

Our BIGGEST year yet!

We’ve processed quite a few grapes this summer, in fact, we made wine from 9 tons of grapes, all from central Texas.

Our vineyard here in Salado grew one ton of Sangiovese, a half ton each of cabernet sauvignon and merlot and more than a half ton of chardonnay.  That means we have over 160 gallons of Rootin Tootin for next year!  As well as 85 gallons of chardonnay and 150 gallons Wild Hare (cab + merlot).

From our friends in Belton, we harvested 4 tons of Blanc Dubois and Black Spanish!  These grapes were new to us and presented us with many winemaking challenges do to the thick skins and tough nature of the grape.

The Black Rock Vineyard co-op brought in a ton of white and red grapes, mixed varieties and we hope to make some sparkling white from some of the white grapes.

From Belle Crest Vineyard had almost a ton of tempranillo, malbec and cabernet  sauvignon.  They had so much fun at harvest, they even stomped on their grapes!  (see story)

So there you have it, in total we made about 1400 gallons of wine for the 2012 vintage.  And don’t forget, one exceptionally cute baby (I’m obviously un-biased).

Vineyard update–May 3, 2012

Baby Sangiovese grapes!

Bloom/Pollination/Fertilization is almost over in the vineyard.  We thought you might like to see these little bitty grapes as they are formed now and will grow in size until about mid-June.  After that veraison (fancy name for turning color) and ripening.  Then before I know it, harvest and wine making…stay tuned!

Vineyard is looking good!

baby grapes
could be a 20 lb cluster in a few months!

This picture was taken April 1st, 2012, and no fooling around, this may be the biggest cluster yet from our vineyard.  The sangiovese has already reached stage 15 on the Eichorn-Lorenz stages in shoot development–and we haven’t even had Easter yet!

The crop looks very promising this year, but I’m trying hard not to count all the grapes too soon.  All it takes is a short hail storm like last year, when the chardonnay grapes were obliterated.  But for now, we’re having a beautiful spring here in Texas and the grapevines are certainly going crazy.