Harvest Time, Fall 2007
It's harvest time. A wonderfully satisfying and energizing experience. The culmination of considerable time and effort spent coddling vines, soil, and grapes. The moment of truth. The final exam. This year we'll have six different harvests corresponding to our different varietals as well as our different growing sites. Based upon the initial Sangiovese harvest this past weekend, I expect a very good year. One of our two clones of Cabernet will be harvested next week followed closely by Merlot, then a different Cab and finally, bringing up the rear, will be our Zinfindel. Crush immediately follows each harvest. The resulting "must" a combination of juice, skins, seeds and assorted foreign matter best left undescribed, now becomes the dinner table for millions of special little yeasty beasties who eagerly devour the sugar in the grape juice and happily make ethanol and carbon dioxide in return. This process generally takes about two to three weeks to complete. Fundamentally, the process has served mankind well for a few thousand years, with modern technology contributing to greater efficiencies and no doubt, better quality wine in the end. The image at right shows my daughter, Heather, with some of the fruits of her labors at a recent harvest.