Journal | Follow the 2019 Harvest | August 31, 2019
It is fitting that we should take a break from harvest and crush over Labor Day Weekend. The first small flurry of ripe grapes is “in the barn”. Now we wait. And watch Dorian’s track.
We have a tremendous amount of white grapes (mostly Chardonnay) that will soon be ready to pick. This is a dreaded scenario: four or five days of picking in front of us, nothing quite ready, everything will be ready in a week or two. Hurricane threats.
Tomorrow we will do an exhaustive evaluation of the vineyard, taking berry samples from each block. Analysis will be run, juice tasted, hurricane track noted. Decision made.
If we do start to pick, it will probably be the young vines. They ripen sooner and are more vulnerable to the negative effects of big rains. This is because their roots are still superficial. It is only with time that roots can go deep. Deep roots mitigate soil moisture swings, as the vines have constant access to sub-soil moisture. They are less likely to be shocked by topsoil moisture swings. On the other hand, young vines will become easily drought stressed and then absorb lots of water after a rain. That water is pumped into the grapes resulting in dilution or possible splitting and rot.
While we are anxious, we also know that this is what we signed up for: farming.
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