Michael is writing this one solo, since he’s the one who makes the wine at the old homestead. And it’s part two of Grape Harvest 2022.
Last month I looked at the start of harvest. And after all the prep for the upcoming harvest, planning for every possible contingency, every detail in needed supplies and flexibility in scheduling… Here it comes: Harvest 2022: Agrape-ocolypse NOW!
The NOW! is the urgency which is always part of the harvest scenario whether it’s cabbage or Cabernet – when the fruit is ready, you pick. It won’t wait for you. It’s always been that way – long before climate change. But the current reality has changed the dynamics and rhythm of a process that doesn’t respond to human rationalizations.
So when Harvest 2022 got compressed, we ended up with 10 grape varieties harvested in 4 weeks instead of 8 weeks. That meant trying to find floor space and storage in the home winery (aka garage) that also serves as the file room and warehouse. Adequate floor space? NEVER! Adequate storage for fermenting wines? NEVER! Any thoughts of reducing production to deal with realities? NEVER!!! I bought more fermenters to hold grapes and supplies to feed the yeast and measure the chemistry of acid, sugar and alcohol.
Only when I press the newly fermented wine will there be a real hint as to how much wine will be going into keg and storage for the season. There are ways to calculate yields, but I don’t bother with them. After all, I don’t depend on this hobby to make my living. It’s my Passion Project, and it’s not about saving money (I don’t). But I do get to express and share an expression of craft and dare I say it, “ART”? At any rate, that’s Harvest 2022 in a nutshell.