Lag Phase and Veraison
We reached "lag phase", half-way through the growing season, on about August 22. When lag phase occurs, Dave heads out to the vineyard to do cluster counts to determine how many clusters each shoot is carrying. Then, he randomly selects clusters from each block (777 first block, 777 second block, Pommard, 667, and 115) to be weighed to determine the average tonage per acre. This helps us determine how much cropping, or dropping of fruit we'll need to do to stick to our goal of 2 tons per acre.
In these photos, you'll see Dave out in the vineyard counting clusters, clipping clusters, and weighing clusters. The clusters this year aren't as big or as tight as last year's clusters, but they are looking good. The crop loads are going to be less this year as compared to last year, where we literally had fruit coming out of our ears!
Veraison, meaning "ripening" or color change started a couple weeks ago, right around the first of September. These photos will show the first stages of veraison, when the grapes are turning from green to purple. Right now, we have almost complete color change throughout the vineyard. Unfortunately, this doesn't mean that the grapes are ripe! We still have quite a way to go before we're ready for harvest!
When will harvest be this year? Well, that seems to be the question of the day! Right now, we are anticipating harvesting around the middle of October. So, keep your fingers crossed and say a little prayer that these rain showers we're having head off to other parts of the country...right now, we still need that sunshine!