Out in the Vineyard, Checking on the Grapes

Saturday morning I headed out to Elandrich in Portola Valley and Llama Vineyard in Bonny Doon. Time to start checking on BRIX readings to see when harvest will come. BRIX is the sugar content of the grapes and it determines potential alcohol. I like to pick between 24-25 BRIX if I can, but having good flavors in the grapes is the most important thing, so I taste the grapes too.

At home the Syrah and Grenache are both above 25 BRIX right now and looks like we’ll harvest on Saturday. The seeds and stems are brown, and the grapes taste ripe.

I headed off to Elandrich next.

The sun was out but it was still cool.

I started with the Zinfandel. The first task is to walk the perimeter and make sure the bird netting doesn’t need any repairs. There were signs that two doves had been caught in the nets, or at least taken down by the nets. Just two sets of feathers, the work of a hawk that has nested in the oaks near by.

The readings on the Zinfadel were low, just 17.1. It looks like harvest will be the end of October. The grapes looked great though, healthy and with great color.

I trecked down the hill to the Merlot section next. The Brix was a little higher, 21.2 and the netting was in good shape. It looks like Mid October for these grapes.

I drove the long drive to Bonny Doon next. I’m not sure there will be enough grapes to harvest there this year but wanted to check on the vineyard anyway. The Fog was still in at noon when I arrived and the vineyards looked in good shape. Harvest looks like it will go well this year, if a little late, now it’s just waiting on good weather.