The sky is overcast over the vineyards of Glenora and along the shores of Seneca on this the last Sunday morning of September 2019. The temperature is 56 degrees but feels a bit cooler as the wind is coming from the north at 7 miles per hour. While the forecast for the beginning of the upcoming week looks great -warm and dry- it appears that will change by week's end-cold and wet!
In the vineyards: Another great weather week for ripening and harvesting. There were a few showers, heavier in some locations, but not enough to stop the harvest. Not at all like last year when as the ole farmer would say-"we are mudding it" to get through the vineyards. For the Knapp harvest team, it was Vignoles at Knapp and Varick. At CLR, the Club Seneca Pinot Blanc were harvested, along with Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. Although the CLR team has more Pinot Noir to harvest, it appears that it is going to be the largest Pinot Noir crop to date there. The Knapp Team also did some custom harvesting-Valvin Muscat, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay.
On the press Decks: At Glenora the team saw Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and Vignoles arriving at the press deck. The CLR team brought in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Press deck creativity or the Ol' Farmers creativity in action: Late in the week the vacuum pump on the larger press at Glenora decided to retire (quit). The pump is critical as it pulls the air away from the bladder that is used to press the grapes. This is done by the pump creating a vacuum (suction) on what was the pressure side of the bladder. Without being able to relieve the pressure, the press is useless (could the press be human?). Since vacuum pumps that fist the press are not something one finds at the general store it needed to be special ordered -days, possible weeks. This is where the genius of ol' farmer who has fixed many things with baling wire comes in. We needed to create a vacuum-how does our shop vacuum cleaner work - by creating a vacuum to pull in the dirt!! So with a little baling wire (or in this case duct tape) the shop vacuum was hooked to the press and we were back in operation!!
While the weather over the past 2-3 weeks has been great for ripening the grapes we, or the grapes, still have a ways to go as the brix levels are lower than we would like and the acid and pH are not at the levels we would like to see. Looking at the longer range forecast it appears Mother Nature is about to enter her fall temperature mode as later this coming week the temperature highs are forecast to be in the 60's and the night temperatures in the mid to lower 40;s. Those temperatures will slow down ripening. If there is any positive to the lower temperatures they will slow down the fruit flies who like to attack grapes when their sugar content gets above 15 degrees Brix.
There are other things happening besides harvest. This weekend and into next week both CLR and Glenora are taking part in the New York Wine and Grape Foundation's "NY Drinks NY program. This is a program where wine industry people - retailers, restaurants and influencers, mostly from the New York City area - visit the Finger Lakes Wine Region to learn more about the industry. They will be visiting the wineries to get hands-on experiences - we are told they want to get their "hands dirty". We certainly look forward to satisfying those wishes for them. The experience of getting a blister on your hand and the getting grape juice in or on it will be something they will always remember. We aim to please!! Steve, Rachel, Peter and Tim will be representing us at several of the events. Shawn and Wally are in charge of the "dirty hands" adventures.
If you visit the Glenora retail shop you will, or should, notice that we have a new flat screen TV there. The TV is "hooked" to a camera that can be moved about to show various activities taking place at winery. Currently the camera is focused on the press deck which allows visitors to observe activities there. Later in the year we may place the camera in the bottling room so that visitors can see/watch the bottling operations. It has been decided that we will not include audio at this time!
It has been and is another wedding event weekend at Glenora. A rehearsal dinner on Friday evening - not sure why it is named that as it should be named the "dinner after the rehearsal; they are not rehearsing the dinner. In any event, a wedding and reception yesterday and a wedding celebration breakfast this morning!
Thought for the week: Mistakes
"A life where mistakes are made is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing."