Monday, 12 October 2009

Pre-harvest assessment

So I've seen a much reduced crop in this first year compared to what I was expecting, with something like 30-40% of the vines producing grapes, with some of them only being a single bunch. Added to this the birds have started eating some of the grapes - as I thought they might but decided to chance it and not spend the £200 or so on a bird net to cover the whole thing - so the harvest's gonna be reduced even further. I recon it'll be something like a handful of bottles.

On the plus side I now own or have on order all the equipment I need to make wine. It seems a lot of English vineyards have started the harvest already ( so as soon as I get everything I need and as long as I get at least one dry day before, I'm gonna harvest the grapes.

I was going to test for acidity at the same time as taking the sugar levels, but the amount of juice required for each test would reduce the harvest by a not insignificant amount, so I plan to chance it and adjust acidity at the post-crush stage.

This year's gonna be a bit of an experiment so I'm going to try and write everything down so I can get an idea of what's going on for next time - pH, acidity, sulphite additions, times etc. - then hopefully next year it won't be so much of a last-minute, hope-for-the-best sort of thing.


  1. Phil, just saw your comments on my blog - I replied in case your interested. Sorry for the neglect!

    How was your harvest? Did you manage to get a gallon or so? :)

  2. No, about a bottle! Small acorns etc... I know the process now though so it won't be so new to me next year.

    Still doing your vineyard? I see you haven't posted in a while.