Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Wines I'm Making: 2014 Harvest Approaches (September 12, 2014)

I did a full sampling of the fruit in our little vineyard on the 12th, the first serious look I've taken at picking the grapes so far this year. The Cabernet vines showed 23.8 Brix at a pH of 3.30, which is fairly close to ideal, but I'm afraid some of the sugar level reflects dehydration rather than full ripeness of the fruit. September 12 is about a month earlier than the usual harvest date. I will continue to monitor the sugar levels. I usually like to pick at about 24-25 Brix with the pH no higher than about 3.5. One theory says that the pH level squared times Brix should ideally be at 260 for picking. My September 12 numbers yield 259--so technically ready, but I will wait at least another week, perhaps two, unless the sugar or pH levels seem to be rising precipitously.

The Sangiovese grapes look a little less ripe, showing 20.8 Brix and a pH of 3.44. I usually like to pick the grapes for the rosé we make from the Sangiovese at about 22 Brix with the pH as low as possible. So, as with the Cabernet, I'll be monitoring the grapes over the coming week or two to see how things are progressing.

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