Around Veraison we expected that the grape harvest would be early this year. In June and July the grape growing degree index was ahead compared to last year, but a cooler 2nd half of August changed that. The growing degree days eventually ended up close to 2012 at around 3200 when we picked our grapes on September 10.
We did our small batch "family private reserve" harvest on September 8, starting as early as 6 am.
The grapes were ripe and in good health at a sugar content of 24.5% (or Brix). With family flying in from the Netherlands (thank you !!) , we had plenty of hands to get to job done fast.
The professional harvest, most of our grapes are sold to one of the local wineries, was done early morning of September 10.
After an exciting week of punching down and pumping over, the free running juice was pumped into the tank. The remaining fermented grapes were scooped into our new basket press for further juice extraction.
After all that work is done, there is more work for cleaning the equipment and storage for next year.
Year after year we see increasing yield and quality. So again, this is our best harvest ever :-)