On Monday, October 11, we arrived at Airlie Winery, it is always such a beautiful sight when driving into Mary's Vineyard. She has about 36 acres of vines. With the weather problems this year there is a concern as to whether the grapes will fully ripen before the frost gets them. Tuesday morning Elizabeth Clark, the Winemaker had me take a sample of the grapes. This is done by walking down the rows of grapes and taking three grapes from a bunch, one grape from the top, one from the middle and one from the bottom. You take this sample from every 5th vine, alternating sides. After collecting a baggie full, you bring the grapes up to the lab and squeeze all the juice from them and test for the degrees of Brix, (Brix is the measure of sugar content). We want the Foch to be between 22 and 24 Brix. It is now at 20. The Foch will be the first grape to be harvested, followed by the Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Muller Thurgau, Gewurztraminer, Riesling. Liz has also developed a new white wine called 7. It is a blend of 7 different white grapes. It is a favorite of mine. If the weather holds out, the Foch could possibly be picked the first of next week. Lynn and Jake arrived on Tuesday, so the Harvest Crew is ready.
While we wait, Mary decided to hold our annual Airlie Golf Tournament today, Wednesday, October 13, 2010. Liz and I were a great team. We have no idea who won, but we all had a great time.
There is a lot of discussion between Liz and Mary regarding what to do if the grapes don't ripen enough. Some discussions going on are regarding making Champagne, which you do with the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes. They have never done this before so it would be a complete change of process to make this happen. More to follow on this topic.