Harvest has officially started today with the arrival of some early picked Riesling from Field A of our St. Urban Vineyard. These grapes are still high in acid (low in sugar) but they are perfect for our sparkling program (Sekt). When you make bubbly wine, you need to start with lower ripened grapes. You need a “shortfall” in sugar as the the first fermentation (regular “still wine” fermentation) that makes the base for the sparkling, needs to finish low in alcohol. This is required because when the percentage alcohol goes up during the second fermentation (with added sugar and yeast and sealed to hold in the carbon dioxide), the alcohol ends up “reasonable”. 🙂 It’s all a scientific calculation. In addition, adding bubbles to a wine is like adding an amplifier. The base wine needs to be “quiet” (less ripe BUT mature) such that when you add the bubbles at the end, the flavours come out balanced as opposed to bowling you over! Well, everyone is asking about the quality of the 2017 Harvest. Ask me again in mid November! 🙂 I am serious. It is not done until it is done. True, we did not have a great summer for maturing grapes. It was too wet, cloudy and a bit coolish. Grapes love hot, sunny and dry. Still, vines are amazing plants and they “wait” looking for that opportunity to shine. They are shining now along with the beautiful sun that we’ve enjoyed for many days (and will continue??). The vines are currently working like mad ripening what is hanging. They are taking full advantage of this great weather and we are keeping out of the way (waiting). Basically, we are about two weeks or so late with harvest (again, a result of the poor summer). But as I noted, the vines will wait for the window to “go” and will work quickly to try to get done in a short time what should have happened over a much longer period. LOVELY PLANTS!! So, Harvest 2017 has begun and we are optimistic. We have to be. We are farmers! 🙂 I promise to keep you updated and to let you know where we land in the end. Here’s to some fine reports and lots of sun!!