September 28, 2016

posted Sep 30, 2016, 5:59 AM by Paul O'Neill

Today everyone was busy harvesting wine grapes, specifically the Noriet variety. This is the first year with enough harvest to make wine. During our two hours here, one of the 8-9 rows was harvested by hand. The clusters placed into bins, then poured into a machine that separated the berries from the stems, and finally depositing into large bins. Other varieties may be blended in to add sweetness and complexity of flavor. The next step is to inoculate the large bins with yeast for fermentation.

On my way out, I picked some Concord grapes. These are at their best right now, at 19-20 brix. Personally, I like the Chinese grapes more, but have a weird taste now that they are over-ripe. This year has been an excellent year for grapes. Last year, there were only limited quantities of Chinese and Concord grapes, which I enjoyed. These two varieties seem larger and sweeter this year.  This is the first productive year for the other varieties, which were amazing, especially Reliance and Himrod, my favorite grapes.

The Fuji apples are crisp and very sweet. September Fuji is available and October Fuji is about ready, but can ripen a little bit longer.

The Hosui and Shinseiki pears are ripe to over-ripe but still very tasty. Yonashi and Atago are still ripening and will be available soon.