Monday, October 11, 2010

Crimson Clover 2010

Sunday morning we gathered friends and our small crew and harvested the Crimson Clover vineyard. This is a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard we've been making wine from now since 2008.

Jerry had gotten us all ready to pick on Friday and Saturday. Friday he took down all the picking and harvest bins and Sunday he and a friend removed the bird netting. Saturday morning Stefania and I rented the extra truck we'd need before we headed out to the winery for the day. That left us to just pick grapes Sunday morning.

Here is the first fruit coming in from the picking bins and going into the harvest bins.

The hill in the background is an old cinder cone so the vineyard has a high amount of volcanic soil. The valley though is a fault, thrust valley so there's a complex mix of soils.

The rows here are cleaner than in our steep vineyards. There's not as much need to keep the ground cover in place and prevent erosion. At the end of the rows in this picture you can see people picking grapes. It goes best if there is one person on each side of the row so you don't have to reach through the vine to cut fruit. You still have to stagger though and not work the exact same part off the vine at the same time. That leads to cut fingers.

This is Jerry's wife Estella and his cousin. Both are part of the little group we call 'The A Team', of our best pickers. When we've sorted after 'The A Team' picks we remove on average less than 1lb of bad grapes and debris for every 2000 pounds picked. They know their grapes and know how to keep bins clean.

I wore myself out Sunday. My Mom and Stefania did the sorting at the truck and I ran bins back and forth. I should have let the younger guys do that. It's basically lifting 30lbs on your shoulder and carrying it 50-100 yards and dumping it in the truck. Then repeat that about 140 times. To top it off I lifted all the grapes again in 20 pound buckets at the crusher. My shoulder still hurts.

We have a few days off now though to recover.

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