Gene Pierce
August 11, 2019 | Gene Pierce, glenora gazette, summer, wine & winemaking | Gene Pierce

The Glenora Gazette, Vol. 11, No, 8-19

The sky is clear over the vineyards of Glenora and the shores of Seneca-a fair amount of sun as well. The temperature is 57 degrees with the wind coming from the south west at 5 miles per hour. A temperature feeling reading of 56 degrees-some hints of Fall??!! Lake temperatures: Keuka-77 degrees; Seneca-75.8 degrees.

Sunrise over Seneca

In the vineyards: Weather-wise it was another "depending on where the vineyard is located" weather weeks. For example, on Tuesday late morning there was a downpour at our CLR vineyards. At the same time, just across the lake at Glenora (perhaps 2 ½ miles west of CLR) the sun was shining! The vineyard teams are touching up their vineyard hedging projects (summer pruning - or vineyard haircuts), applying protective sprays where necessary, and preparing and setting up the bird control devices. While there is not much, if any bird activity in the vineyards at this point as soon as the grape berries start to turn color the birds will be visiting the vineyards - pecking at and eating the grapes. The team at Knapp is moving bird netting from the Vidal vineyard to the Siegerrebe vineyard. The birds seem to really enjoy Siegerrebe as they are one of the first varieties to change color.

This past week the winemaking team, Steve and Rachel, met with production manager Tracey M and the editor. As we now have determined the grapes that we will be harvesting this year, we looked at our vineyard sampling process. The Winery team members go into the various vineyards about every 7-10 days to "sample the grapes". This allows them to measure changes in the sugars, acid, and pH of the grapes. Knowing that, we can determine when to harvest. Since we have a great deal of history on all of our vineyards we can use that to fairly accurately determine harvest dates based on the changes taking place with the vineyard samples. Another example: If we notice that a specific grape variety's brix level is increasing (ripening) at the rate of 2 Brix per week and we want harvest that variety at 22 Brix and the current Brix level is 18 it most likely will be another 2 weeks until we harvest that variety. It is not an exact science but certainly better than the old days. 50 years ago, if the grapes tasted good they were harvested. Although that is still not a bad way to check - after all we will be tasting the final product.

Our congratulations have been sent to our friends at Six Mile Creek-Winner of the Governor's Cup; and to Wagner Vineyards for being named Winery of the Year. Great honors for both wineries and once again wineries from the Finger Lakes wining the highest honors at the New Wine and Grape Foundations annual wine competition.

A young buck running through the woods

An speaking of honors you can vote in/on the USA Today's best wine region in the United States competition! Click HERE to cast your vote for the Finger Lakes.

Next Sunday, August 18, Euge Grove will be on the Glenora Vineyard stage, our last concert of the 2019 Jazz Greats at Glenora season. It seems like the season just started and now it is almost over. On Monday evening after the concert, we will be having our annual summer team member and family picnic. We expect over 100 attendees. Once again Chief Entertainer Joel will be providing activities for the "kids" as well as providing his "Glenora Famous" popcorn. Something new this year -"BYOB": it is not what you are probably thinking, but is "Build Your Own Burger". Production Manager Tracey will don his Grill Masters Apron and grill the burgers - you "build the burger" by adding all of your favorite toppings. Perhaps we should have a "Best Built Burger Contest" -- we will need a prize-ideas.

On Friday afternoon, we received the Farm Credit Benchmark survey report for the first six months of 2019. The Benchmark part is that it compares the first six months of 2019 to the first six months of 2018. These numbers confirm the general feeling, and for us our numbers, that visitation is down - 2.1 percent for the trail. However for us some good numbers: bottles sold per person up 16.5%, total retail sales per taster up 19.7%, retail sales dollars up 5.8%. Certainly we would like to see more visitors - we and the Seneca Lake Wine trail are working on that. We also need more winery participation as only 12 of the 31 Seneca Lake Wine Trail members reported information to the survey. One should not complain about wine sales or visitation if you are not willing to be part of looking for solutions. Something like if you are not part of those seeking a solution to an issue, you may be part of the problem. As you can probably tell, the editor will not be in the running for Wine Trail president!

Thought for the week:  Time-Live
"Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you."


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