Saturday, September 6, 2008

Green grape harvest II

We've just harvested the green grapes....not many this year - but still nice to do it. But it's hot out there already! Phew! need to cool off now...

That's my husband in the photo in his new "merlove" tee shirt! And it's his hand with the yellow curved knife that you use to cut the bunches off with.

After we picked the few green ones (this year we got many more from our arbor) we then did some sampling of the vineyard checking the brix level of the merlot grapes in different areas. I took rows 8 to 14 above the oak tree and then did the center section too. As you sample, this is meant to be a random thing, so you try and find a representative sample. The grapes are then "mushed" up (very technical term!) and a little of the juice is put in a refractometer and from that you can read the brix - which is the sugar content!

This is useful to guide the decision on when to harvest. It's not only the brix important - other things too - like acid levels etc - but brix is a good indicator.

In previous years, our buyers have only wanted one harvest so some of the grapes were a little over ripe and some were under ripe and some were just perfect. We sell to Havens now and they like to harvest different sections at different times as they ripen at different times. Normally we harvest the top section first ( most of the vineyard is on a slope), then above the oak tree, then generally the rest is pretty much the same as it is on just a gentle slope or no slope at all.

The brix today are: 24.1 for the top section - that means we may be harvesting those next week. The ones I sampled are 22.2 and 22.8 - so probably a couple of weeks yet before they are ready but as we've been having such hot weather lately...who knows.....

1 comment:

merlove said...


This is the Director of Merlove, Rudy McClain.

Wow. Thanks for posting the picture with the Merlove T-shirt! Let me know if I can use the picture on the website. I'm thinking of posting a "Merlove Sightings" section for pictures.