This is the perfect example of why we grow more than one variety of grapes in our vineyard.
On Monday we picked the Marechal foch grapes. We got 112 pounds of fruit of that row, which made 13 gallons of crush. That is merrily perking away over in the dining room in the middle of the heat of ferment. Millions of little yeasts are over there making more yeasts and fantasizing about taking over the world.
Today we picked the Baco noir row. Or I should say, we picked at it. A different variety, at a different stage of development when the early August rains hit us. We got over a foot of rain in a week and a half. The Baco noir grapes were in a growth phase, still putting on juice. So the fruit split, and then proceeded to rot. This is what the row looked like almost all the way along.
We left most of the bunches on the vines. I imagine that the robins and grackles are going to be having a big party in about half an hour when they figure out what has been left for them.
We wound up with 22.1 pounds of grapes off a row that had set every bit as much fruit as the Marechal foch. It crushed to 2.5 gallons. It took longer to clean the equipment after crushing than did to actually run the grapes through the stemmer/crusher.
It is SO depressing.
However, all is not lost. The Cynthiana grapes, which are colloquially referred to as Nortons and make a wonderful wine, look like this:
There aren’t a lot of grapes on the Nortons since the vines are only 3 years old. But we will likely get more fruit and juice than we did from this days harvest.
The Chambourcin row is looking spectacular. We will be picking them in a week or so. They are still making sugar.
These vines are just loaded with grapes and we anticipate getting more fruit and juice than we did from the Marechal foch.
Last year, it was so hot and dry we got a total of 135 pounds of grapes from all four rows.
This year, we got tons of rain at the wrong time. A truth of the Universe is that you cannot un-fall the rain. Once the water is on the ground, the plants take it up, and then nature takes its course.