Raven's Call

Raven's Call
Haida Raven

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fall harvest at Woodland Creek / Raven's Call

Time to recap some of our fall harvest and button things up for the winter.
The Regent grapes were harvested on 09-Oct-09. I had about 15 lbs from the 32 plants in the vineyard. Brix tested at 19 - not bad for Puget Sound AVA. I still chaptalized the must to 25 Brix - went a bit overboard.

Regent Grapes

Birds were starting to feast on them.

The 2009 Regent harvest
The same day the Syrah from the prior week was ready to press. Some additional modifications to the home-built press now have it working quite well. Time to rebuild it in oak.

Pressing the Yakima Valley Syrah

The 100 lbs of Syrah yielded about 7 gallons of wine into the secondary fermenters.

The Yakima Viognier has been racked to a secondary fermenter (6 gallons), and the Madeleine Angevine as well (3 gallons). I currently have 6 varieties under airlock right now.

As for other crops - our two chestnut trees both produced well this year. The trees are each about 12 years old now - having been planted before we built our house here. One is a seedling from nuts from the tree in the backyard of our prior residence, the other is a seedling from a heritage tree - the "Carson Chestnut" located in the interchange at Highway 167 and Meridian just north of the Puyallup River bridge north of Puyallup. Quite a magnificent tree.

At any rate, this year I detected clear difference in the bur sizes, nut sizes, and ripening time between the two trees. I did some on-line research and decided that the earlier one, with larger nuts, from the Carson Chestnut, must be a Spanish chestnut, Castanea sativa. (I just did a google search and this site http://www.halcyon.com/tmend/heritageplants.htm asserts that the Carson Chestnut, planted before 1861, is C. sativa). The other tree has to be Chinese Chestnut, C. mollisima. I also have a couple American chestnuts C. dentata, one of which finally produced nuts inside the usually empty burs. Boy, are those nuts tiny. Here is the entire crop.

The darker ones (darker only because they ripened sooner) in the back on on the left are Spanish chestnuts. The lighter tray in the front right are the Chinese. And the few tiny ones on the bowl are the American. Despite their tiny size, the American chestnuts are by far the tastiest. We probably had 35 to 40 pounds of chestnuts - time to find some recipes.