Rain Men

Oct 04, 2011 Posted by Richie Roberts 0

We’ve spent the last week and a half or so dodging the rains, listening to the forecasts (which are rarely accurate) and watching the radar. The rain really throws a wrinkle into harvest plans, no matter how organized you are! Some days it just feels like you’re hurrying up to wait. We haven’t crushed a lot of grapes over this period, but we’ve made good use of a few windows of opportunity to harvest the bulk of our Pinot Gris, our Sauvignon Blanc, and a small amount of Gewurztraminer. Despite the rainfall most of the grapes we’ve picked have been in very sound condition, with great flavours.

It’s not all wasted time, however. The past week or so has been filled with a lot of activity in the cellar: racking cold-settled Pinot Gris and Sauv Blanc juice, inoculating tanks for fermentation, filling barrels for barrel-fermentations on some early harvested Chardonnay and Pinot Gris, and just altogether catching up on odds and ends. The rain has given us a good chance to catch up on a lot of these tasks that we might have otherwise fallen behind on.

Thankfully all the dreary weather we’ve been getting over the last week or so in Niagara has come to an end and the forecast for the next week (and beyond) looks promising. In all honesty we needed it. For some varieties like our Riesling and Chardonnay this weather is a blessing. They each are ready to pick and this dry warm weather gives us a chance to get moving on them. In fact, we harvested our oldest block of Chardonnay vines (25 years) this morning, and a big plot of Riesling this afternoon. Additionally, for the later-ripening varieties - Merlot, Cabs, Viognier, Syrah – this weather is exactly what we need to keep them hanging in good shape out there.

Drinking from our cellar this week: 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon – a well-decorated wine, winning a Gold Medal winner this year at the Ontario Wine Awards, as well as a bronze medal at both Intervin and the Canadian Wine Awards.

Highlight of the week: The sunshine that (finally) came out this morning. The forecast looks like it will be sticking around too!

“Can’t live without” item of the week: Rubber boots – a must-have for anyone working the harvest!

Something to take the mind off harvest: For baseball fans out there, this is a great time of year – here is a blog worth reading with some interesting stuff posted daily.

On deck in the next week: Along with looking after all the wines in our cellar, we are going to be picking a lot of grapes – Chardonnay, Riesling, a bit of Gamay (first time yet at Fielding), and the last bit of Pinot Gris, from our Rock Pile block.

Follow along this blog on a weekly basis, where I plan to tell you about all the fun we’re having on the crush pad trying to make great wines!


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