Harvest began in earnest this past weekend as the Brianna was brought in from our vines. It was good news and bad news with the Brianna. The good news we harvested 3,000 lbs, which is up over last years paltry 900 pounds and our prediction of 1,750 lbs. The bad news...we harvested 3,000 lbs of Brianna. I only say bad news because Brianna is our toughest grape to harvest. Being on the taller side and this grape growing utilizing the vertical shoot position method of trellising provides a challenge. There is a LOT of bending over and my back today feels it. We had a good crew of about 10 out on Saturday morning and thought we would complete the entire task. 5 plus hours and a 93 degrees later we had gotten 4 of 8 rows picked and were spent. So we came back on Sunday with 15 and finished up the task. After 2 days in the hot sun we decided to call it a day and move on to the cellar.
On both days we still had to process the grapes. Erich and I spent the afternoon running the grapes through the crusher destemmer which removes the grapes from the stems. After running them through they went to the press to squeeze the juice out. All the while trying to keep the grapes as cool as possible. By late Sunday afternoon we had approximately 240 gallons of juice getting cooled down in our newest tank and awaiting some more work before fermentation begins.
That's one varietal down and 7 to go. Hopefully it will cool down a bit!