Well, the test results came back from the grapes that were sampled last Friday. No need to test again till this Friday. Now we can turn our interest to our new sorting and press machinery that we are putting in at our barn. Concrete work was delayed by the rains that we had a while back. But moving quickly now.
Yesterday, we started the first day of testing all grapes, of all varieties, in all plots, in all of our vineyards. The time is finally here.
At this time of year, some Texas vineyards in other parts of the state are already harvesting or even finished harvesting. For our longer season on the High Plains, we are just now doing laboratory and brix testing on every block. Even though many of the winemakers that we sell grapes to have already been to the vineyards to see the grapes progress, these test results will help them to determine when the grape is just right in ripeness for the purpose they are wanting to achieve for their planned wine.
Rain! We actually got some rain. We have received 3 to 4 inches of rain in 4 days. We are thankful to God for these much needed rains. Cliff was saying that it might actually be nice if it would not rain for a couple of weeks. Of course by then, we will be praying for more. Some sunny weather would give us time to clean up the fields and make sure that the vines and grapes are aired and treated to discourage powdery mildew. These pictures are of Cabernet Sauvignon vines taken on May 27th.
Yes, I said hail, not freeze. We seem to be so preoccupied with late spring freezes that we forget about the other hazards of growing grapes on the High Plains. Hail being one of them. During the last rain which we had on Sunday morning on the 25th, we had hail some hail. Cliff went out and checked all the vineyards first thing in the morning before church, but there didn’t seem to be too much damage from the hail. We were very thankful for the rains. Most of the damage was in two of the vineyards.
Seeing grapevine leaves in the dirt isn’t an encouraging sight. One of the vineyards with damage is only a year old having had damage from last year’s late spring freeze. It will survive, but our cotton field next to it has about a 50% crop loss.