Summer sun and véraison!
With the summer sun high in the sky, our vineyard is simply thriving!
Being the first year that we left our vines to produce grapes, we had no idea what the result would be. All we were able to do was wait to see if all this work we’ve done would be worth it. Earlier this spring, we waited with anticipation until we saw the vines flower – and they did! We then worriedly waited to see if any berries would form – and they did! Since then, we have been waiting to see if the grapes would grow and have the chance to ripen… And here, our expectations for our very first harvest year have been surpassed!
In fact, all our varieties are producing what is looks to be an incredible harvest of beautiful, healthy, and RIPE fruit!
Last week, the Pinot Gris reached the stage of véraison, which refers to the onset of ripening and the increase of sugars (future alcohol) in the fruit. You can actually see this happening by the changing colour of the grapes – from green to rose – like in the photo below. With a number of weeks still ahead of us of warm and dry weather, we now feel confident that we can successfully grow Pinot Gris right here in Yarrow!
Our Acadie grapes are actually already deliciously sweet and will probably be the first variety ready for harvest this year!
Lastly there is the Epicure, which have tended to be a bit behind the other varieties since planting. They are also producing beautiful grapes, but will need a bit longer to ripen this year… they are still giving a strong ‘green pepper’ taste, which should hopefully burn off in a few weeks time.
In the meantime, we’ve been working at maintaining a health canopy that has good air flow and allows the sun to penetrate the whole vine and reach as many leaves as possible. This involves pruning the top and sides of the vines, as well as pulling some leaves around the grapes to ensure the winds can reach them – which helps to keep the grapes dry from any moisture and therefore, prevents mildew or bunch rot.
This week we’ll begin testing the sugar level of the grapes, which will tell us exactly how ripe they are… and ultimately their potential for wine making! Very exciting times!