September Syrah Harvest

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Picking Grapes at Sunrise
Picking Grapes at Sunrise
Ripe Syrah Grapes
Ripe Syrah Grapes


What a crazy weather summer we have had! Because of the late rains, bud break, berry set, etc.
were about 2 weeks later than usual – but then…. our extended heat wave changed everything!
Normally extreme heat slows down the berry ripening – but not this time! Syrah grapes went from
20 brix (% of sugar) to 24 Brix in 4 days!

We started to panic – needed to plan for picking!Due to lack of available picking crews, we
decided to pick some of the high sugars rows ourselves.

We posted a “HELP’ message on Facebook and also to several other lists, soliciting volunteers to
help us harvest. The response was great! We got 6 additional volunteers to join Nic, Jim, Jeffrey
and myself to help pick the grapes.

We picked in the cool morning air – starting at 6am and called it a day at Noon.

Tie Dyes pickers
Tie Dyed Pickers
Jeffrey Picking
Jeffrey picking grapes


This was followed by a nice group lunch at which we passed out well received gifts for the
volunteer’s much appreciated contributions.

The rest of the rows were picked 3 days later by a professional crew.

Phew… well the 2017 syrah has been harvested, has finished primary fermentation, has been pressed
and is now going through malalactic fermentation in tanks.

Corinne hauling grape bins
Corinne hauling grape bins
Bins of crushed grapes
Bins of crushed grapes


We’ll be picking Grenache and Mourvedre in late September, hopefully under less stressful conditions.

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