Grape Harvest Over, Two to Go!

Do you want to take my picture? he asks.           We finished the grape harvest this week, just as showers came and the earth was as muggy as the Midwest. There is a certain joy and sigh of relief when the truck is loaded with a season’s labor and it is… Read more »

Grape Harvest Has Begun!

Surveying the fruits of his labor of the last year. We picked the first third of the grapes yesterday morning, the area of the vineyard we call the old Chardonnay. It produced almost 3 1/2 tons per acre, a good yield of quality Biodynamic organic grapes!  The workers began at dawn and finished late morning,… Read more »

Managing Powdery Mildew During Veraison

Riping Chardonnay grapes     One of the challenges of grape growing is that of controlling powdery mildew or botrytis after the grapes start developing their sugars (veraison). During the growing season we use elemental sulfur, but as we get within 5-6 weeks of harvest, we must stop. The sulfur is known to leave a… Read more »

The grapes are in!

Wesley, Maggie, and discovered treat!     We finished the harvest on Tuesday, and they were in good shape, even after the rain. Ramon is a excellent farmer and managed the leaf pulling well (so air gets in), but the biodynamic preparations also invited drying forces. We ended up averaging more that three tons per… Read more »

Grape Harvest, First Block

Picking is a workout!               Grape Harvest, First Block Although the early morning sky at 5 a.m. was full of stars, by 7 a.m. the fog softened the heat of the past week, and the picking was cool. Two and a half tons per acre yield on the old… Read more »

The Way

The Way The quiet of these early September days allows time for reflective walks. The forest is dusty and littered with dried leaves; the irrigation pond still full enough to swim in. Tuesday we will harvest a third of the grapes, but today there is time to follow the path into the woods, to contemplate… Read more »

Grape Harvest Complete: Clean-Up Crew Enters

Grape Harvest Complete: Clean-Up Crew Enters The harvest went on forever!  Tired men who had also been picking all night, left early; others arrived. But by 4 pm, September 30, we finally had the truck loaded. It was a good-enough harvest, and we thank the many living things that helped make it that way!  … Read more »