Raven's Call

Raven's Call
Haida Raven

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Harvest Time at Raven's Call Vineyard

Wow - hard to believe so much time has gone by since last posting. But today's work was a good trigger for a new post. We decided, given the weather forecast (cold and rainy for the next 4 or 5 days) that we had better go ahead and pick the Madeleine Angevine grapes. They have been looking good and individual grapes measuring in the 16 to 19 Brix (% sugar - target would be 22 to 25, but hard to do in Puget Sound).

Row of Madeleine Angevine Mid-Sep-09.
Two year vines.

Row of Regent - two year plants in foreground. Mad Ang in background.
Regent grapes.
It is very hard for me to estimate grape crop yields (yet, as this is only the second year on the plants!). We bought 100 pounds of Viognier (white) and Syrah (red) yesterday from a fellow who brought over 5,000 pounds from Yakima. We processed those on Saturday.
35 pounds of Viognier grapes

Viognier grape cluster with vintage crusher in background.

Syrah grapes from Yakima
At any rate, while my home-built press did a fair job of pressing the white grapes, in the end Michelle extracted quite a bit more juice from the pressings by using her Roma extractor.

Pressing Viognier
Final extraction from Viognier using Roma extractor. In the end we produced about 8 gallons of juice from the Viognier. The Syrah, a red, is of course not pressed yet but is fermented on the skins. The must for the Syrah is about 12 gallons in the primary fermenter.

But back to the local harvest. I decided to pick the Mad Ang, since everything related to the crush, including the garage floor, was covered in a sticky film from the Saturday crush. Here is our first significant harvest at Raven's Call.
First harvest at Raven's Call - Madeleine Angevine - 27-Sep-09

Decent cluster of Mad Ang.

Total 2009 Mad Ang harvest. 37 pounds of grapes.
Hard to tell, but there is about 12 inches of grapes in the tub.
In the end we had about 3 gallons of pressed Mad Ang juice. All three musts are fermenting merrily now!