Daily Archive for September 7th, 2009

Lafond Vineyard Log

Harvesting is going well. The fruit is coming in at the right sugar and ph – the cooling weather has helped to stabilise the ph. And so far we can sequence the various blocks as they ripen.

Today we began harvesting, with a second crew, at Arita Hills. This is a small, 13 acre, neighbor vineyard that we farm and harvest. It has produced some exceptional Pinot Noir, some of which we have bottled under our vineyard designate label.

We begin picking at 4:00am, under lights, and continue until about 10:00am (the photos  were taken today at 9:00am). We begin early so that the grapes come to the winery cool – at night the temperature drops to the low 50s. Once processed we cool them even further to about 40F. We want the grapes to soak for a few days before the start of fermentation.

Processing the grapes. We now have a group that is very experienced in this process picking out leaves, little stems attached to the grapes called ‘jacks’, rocks and clumps of dirt and occasionally a pair of shears.

The last picture is of the senior staff for the Vineyard, Winery and Tasting Room at their annual ‘Beginning of Harvest BBQ’. There is never a lack of opportunity for a BBQ and putting a name on it sort of legitimizes it.