The biggest changes this year, according to Clark, have been the trellis improvements made to several portions of the vineyard, which involved replacing the shorter wood line stakes with a metal line stake that allows the canopy to grow taller while still supporting the leafy growth and holding the vines and canopy in place.
While the extra rains and cooler than normal spring increased the risk for shatter, all signs indicate that Martin Estate made it through the high risk period in stunning fashion, with the berries setting evenly and naturally. “The soil now is drying down nicely and the berries should not get too big as a result,” Clark says. Clark will do a green harvest at veraison to further ensure that the grapes that make it to harvest are as uniformly ripe as they can be. The vineyard crew will once again hand harvest fruit into individual 30-pound lug boxes (by comparison, most commercial wineries harvest into one and two TON bins). The crew will arrive in the wee morning hours before daybreak. Picking will finish by mid-morning to ensure that they are cool and perfect for processing at the winery.
If the nice summer weather continues, we should be harvesting by early October!