It was a bit of a nail-biter for our first harvest. We had the B&B and wine tours booked and were watching the brix count of the grapes, scampering over to our wine friends asking about this and that…when we were finally told, “You have to pick them NOW” we were lucky that we only had guests in the B&B and no tours. Our guests were from Spain and had a Viognier vineyard, so they understood exactly what was going on.
Fortunately, they were planning to visit Monticello and didn’t need any service from us that day other than breakfast!
It’s been a strange season, with the red grapes ripening a week ahead of normal. All the dry weather means that we’ll have less fruit but it should have great flavor.
So Riki took the day off from work, Chris dashed out to borrow lugs, and there we were the Tuesday before Labor Day with 90 degrees heat and high humidity picking away. We were pouring as much water on our heads to keep cool as we were drinking!
The fruit was so ripe it had to be picked in a very careful manner or the berries would fall off if handled too roughly. We carefully pulled apart the hay netting and started to work .
We could swear there were some clusters weighing a pound! They were dried and pressed, fermented, mixed with a little Merlot, and right now going into a French barrel. In about two years time we will have a port-styled dessert wine.
Reports from top winemakers were very complimentary on our juice, so we are excited!