Monday, March 21, 2011

2010 Harvest at Milagro

The 2010 harvest was completed on November 10th, just ahead of the weather. This harvest was almost a full month later than the preceding year. Late spring rains and cool summer weather put this harvest considerably behind what is considered an average harvest time for Santa Clara Valley vineyards. Getting the grapes to an average Brix of 24 degrees took as much time on the vine as we could muster before the fall rains set in. Eight weeks prior to harvest we took the added measure of thinning the crop by about 1 ton per acre for a total yield of about 5 tons per acre.

Controlling yield, especially for heavy crop producing vines such as Petite Sirah is standard practice for obtaining higher quality grapes. This year we had to thin twice to ensure that the vines could get the maximum ripeness in such a late, cool season. Getting to know the vineyard is one of the tasks that result in getting the most out of a particular site and one of the things that can be controlled by the grower is the yield.