Sunday, February 12, 2006

Vilafonte 2006, First day of Harvest, Thursday Day 5

At last, the vineyard has released its first grapes, block AB, Merlot, ready to pick. We are all over it…the pickers…Phil watching over…Julie sampling for phenolics analysis; Zelma and Bernard waiting anxiously at the destemmer and sorting line. 5.7 tons. One tank, and 6 hours of sorting. I am very happy.
Picking decisions are always nerve wracking…should I wait a day…or two…or did I wait too long. But watching the grapes roll over the sorting belt, they look good; like little black peas, very clean, occasional raisins, very tasty. Our analysis looks good too; acids are soft; sugars are on target; and color, from the phenolic analysis is very solid. The clusters do seem a bit less physiologically ripe than last year; stems end are purple but rest of the cluster architecture is green. The grapes skins are soft, but not thin.
All in all, it is a good start, and I am happy!!
Zelma Long