Wednesday, December 26, 2007

(Almost) The End of the Harvest Season

The 2007 harvest season began early and is just about over... finally.

We started about two weeks early. The warm weather this summer and fall sped up the ripening of the grapes. And the warm weather kept on coming. We really didn't have a heavy frost until late October. And the last of the grapes -- for ice wine, of course -- were harvested about 10 days ago.

Harvesting is a crazy time of the year for us. Because farming and wine making are two separate (but connected) operations, each has its own chores related to the harvest. Once the grapes are picked (or picked UP, as in many instances), it gets very busy in the cellar. During the peak of the harvest season, there are many, many batches of wine fermenting at the same time.

Currently we're down to two batches that are fermenting -- both ice wines. In addition to our usual Vidal Blanc ice wine, we're also making a very small batch of Chambourcin ice wine this year.

2007 harvest photos:
Top - Holly stirring yeast into a container of grapes
Middle - Angelo and Michael moving a tote filled with juice
Lower - Unloading a truck we rented to pick up grapes from the SW side of the state

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