Fellow Wine Enthusiasts,
It was an extremely busy harvest season with the winery bringing in double the amount of grapes that we did in 2012. We worked around the clock to bring in all the popular varieties that we have been using in our wines. With the warmer summer temperatures, harvest began at the end of August, a little earlier than usual, but with the brix levels slowly creeping higher, we had to move quickly. The Marquis grape, from Double A Vineyards was the first to work its way through our new crusher, de-stemmer and press. After that, the Fredonia and Niagara grapes came to the press pad. Like using anything new, we had several little hiccups along the way and our brain power was stretched as we came up with a clever pully system when our belt on the hopper broke. However, after working on the glitches, I’m happy to report that all grapes were pressed successfully and looked great going into the tanks and barrels. The dry, warm fall made it a great harvest time with a large yield.
Unfortunately, the good luck from the fall did not carry over into the winter season. Mother Nature must have been frowning upon Chautauqua County as the polar vortex swept through the area (several times I think) and we experienced more than a few negative temperature evenings. The prognosis for the vines and the forecast for the grape yield for 2014 is not optimistic for the area, but like always – we will continue to bring in high quality grapes and create award-winning wines. Stay tuned as we get closer to bud break and we will know the real extent of the Mother Nature’s fury.