Greg Schultz
September 15, 2016 | Greg Schultz

Entering 4th Quarter of First Harvest


In The Vineyard

About two weeks ago, we actually caught up! Ever since March, I felt like we were behind--behind on pruning, then behind on suckering, then shoot thinning, followed by leaf pulling. The last thing to do with our Tempranillo block was to drop fruit, and we were behind on that. The vines have way too many grape clusters on them than they can uniformly ripen--especially on young vines like ours. So a lot are cut off and dropped to the ground. It's sort of sad, actually. The vines have carried and grown these clusters all season and then we come along and just cut half of them off. But, I guess it's like the plane that is carrying too much weight in luggage. If some isn't removed, the take-off will be ugly. In hindsight as we watch the remaining clusters grow and ripen, we know it was the right thing to do. The fruit is big and dark and the sugar is accumulating. The most recent sample was 21.8 Brix (% sugar) with a target of 24 Brix. Probably 1-2 more weeks until ready for harvest!

A refractometer is used to measure sugar in berry juice

In my blog of April 24, 2016 I talked about having our vineyard 3rd party certified according to LIVE standards. For vineyards new to the program it's a 2-year process. Rebecca Sweet, an experienced viticulturist and LIVE inspector from the Willamette Valley came to our farm on August 11th for our first evaluation. We did well, but have some things to work on in order to become certified next year. The LIVE checklist assigns points for good (green), better (yellow), and best (red) practices for the vineyard and the entire farm ecosystem. We have met the green and yellow practice requirements, but need 5 more of the red practices in order to be certified. We have a lot of work to do, but aim to get certified by the end of 2017.

Debbie Tollefson is the wine writer for The Applegater, our local newsmagazine. In the Fall 2016 issue she covered the topic of terroir and included us as one of her example vineyards. Read about it here. Thanks, Debbie!

On The Farm

With the shorter days and cooler nights we are just starting to see some leaves on the trees starting to turn colors. We have harvested a beautiful crop of garlic and have it for sale in the tasting room / farmstand.  We have eaten and given away a lot of pears from our small orchard this season--delicious. We've spotted a cow elk several mornings--a big girl indeed! And now the apples are starting to ripen. We've also noticed that any fruit that falls on the ground and is not picked up is gone the next morning.

Two bucks caught on Stealth Cam helping themselves in the orchard

Our eleven chickens have graduated from the brooder to the coop and are now gaining confidence as they are allowed to forage around on the ground under the coop. We had one escape one day and it must have been quite a sight to see two adults chasing a month-old chicken around the yard. We finally coralled the little Houdini and all is well.

At 6 weeks old the chicks have quadrupled in size

At The Winery (Pallet Wine Company)

The 2016 harvest began for us on September 2nd with 2.5 tons of Pinot noir fruit coming in from the Pearl Family Vineyard on the Applegate River in Wilderville, Oregon. Since then, Chardonnay and Pinot gris from the Steelhead Run Vineyard have also been harvested and delivered to the winery. More to come, including our own estate Tempranillo as we are...

One day closer to our first harvest!


Commenting has been turned off.