Later August and building of sugars 2015

 

Late August and the vines are coloring up. The weather has been kind and the grapes are adding sugars and decreasing acids as they make themselves more palatable to us and birds, and other inhabitants of the surrounding fields. We try to keep their share reasonable.

More than half of our vines are hanging very nice crops now, slightly above average, while several varieties will be smaller than average. The quality looks very good, and with some decent weather for the next several weeks we will have some high quality grapes for sale. 

We expect harvest in the early part of September, for some varieties. Notice we have several Brix readings for a couple of grapes. In these cases some rows are carrying a lighter crop, which means earlier ripening and harvest. 

We have winemaking recipes for the varieties at the vineyard as well as basic ingredients and equipment, including choices of yeasts available.

 

Our expected opening dates and times, for some varieties are listed below. Picking times are:

Tuesdays 1 - 5:30             Saturdays 11:00 - 4 pm            Sundays  noon - 4 pm

Beginning Saturday, September 5 and continuing with the above schedule till early October

(Please see the schedule below for start dates for the various varieties. After the start dates we pick a variety on the following picking days till it is gone )

 

We have updated the picking season for 2015, on August 25th. but dates may change as we get closer to harvest. Please check back before you come to pick grapes. Please be aware we can move these estimated picking dates up or back, depending on the weather prior to harvest! When dates are variable as in Foch 5-12, it means some areas of the crop are more advanced than others.

 

Grape Picking Schedule (dates may change due to seasonal variations)

Grape

Wine

Start Date   

Sugar/

Brix 

 TA   

pH   Date

  Crop size

Concord 

Purple, eating, juice, 

September 19

 

 

  Sep -- 

 abundant

Foch

red wine

September 5-12 

  19

 

  Aug  25

 large

Frontenac

red wine, port

September 12

  19

 

  Aug  25

 good

Marquette 

red wine

September 5-12

  20 & 18

 

  Aug  25

 med/good

St Croix 

red wine

September 5

  15

 

  Aug  25 

 medium

LaCrescent

white wine, aromatic

September 5-12 

  20 & 17

 

  Aug 252  

 good

Prairie Star    

white wine, full-bodied 

September 8-12

  15

 

  Aug 25

 light/med

St Pepin

white wine 

September 12

  18.5

 

  Aug 25

 medium

Delaware (pink)

wine, champagne, eat

September 5

  17.5

 

  Sep    

  small

Muscat (aromela) 

white Muscat wine, floral

September 22

  16

 

  Aug

   small/med

 

Please scroll down for more information

GRAPE PRICES 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Variety

 

0-30 lb

31-100 lb

100+ lb

300+ lb

1000 lb

             

Concord

Purple, wine, eat

  1.30

 1.00

   .86

   .78

  .74

Foch

Red, wine

    .98

   .88

   .82

   .79

  .75

Marquette

Red, wine

    .98

   .92

   .86

   .82

  .78

St Croix

Red, wine

    .98

   .88

   .82

   .79

  .76

Frontenac

Red, wine

    .98

   .88

   .84

   .79

  n/a

Delaware

Pink, wine, eat

  1.30

   .92

   .85

   .79

  .73

LaCrescent

White, wine

    .98

   .88

   .84

   .79

  .75

Prairie Star

White, wine

  1.25

   .88

   .84

   .80

  n/a

St Pepin

White, wine

  .98

   .92

   .86

   n/a

  n/a

Aromella

White, dessert

  1.30

 1.20

   n/a

   n/a

  n/a

Somerset

Red, seedless

  1.50

 1.25

   1.00

   .90

  n/a

2015 GRAPE AND VINEYARD INFORMATION  early August 2015

 

REDS

Foch  can be made into a variety of styles. Make a light red wine, easy to quaff or ferment on the skins longer for more tannins and aging potential. Foch has cherry notes and is one of the most widely grown varieties in the midwest.  We have taken out almost all the Millot grapes and will have none available this season. We have replaced them with Petite Pearl grapes, which will bear their initial crop in 2016.

Marquette  is one of our more popular red grapes. It has more tannins than other reds and has a high sugar and alcohol content.  It is in high demand. We should have a nice sized, medium crop this season. 

Frontenac  is very popular for making port wines and makes a good dry red wine if the higher acidity level is dealt before or during fermentation. We have winemaking directions at the vineyard.

St Croix This makes a very soft, early maturing, easy to drink red wine with low acidity. If you prefer mellowness in your wine this is a good choice. It is ready to drink sooner than most other reds.  We have a very nice and larger crop this year.  St Croix makes a medium to full-bodied, dry, deep red wine with soft tannins and good fruit aromas, along with currant and other dried fruit flavor qualities. It is often picked at 17 - 19- % sugar for best flavor. Don't wait too long to pick this variety. Alcohol is typically around 11%

Petit Pearl is a new variety first planted in 2014. It will not be available this year. We will have a small crop in 2016.

 

WHITES

LaCrescent is becoming the most popular white wine in the upper Midwest, this grape provides honey, grapefruit, and tangerine aromas and flavors. One of Mary's favorites. We have a good sized crop this season.

Prairie Star This grape is a very good eating grape besides making a fuller bodied white with very mild and sensuous notes. It brightens with subtle flowing flavors. Blends well with LaCrescent. This variety will be in limited supply this season. It does not set fruit well in some years, and it did not prefer this spring. What we do have looks very nice and will be gone quickly.

St Pepin  This makes either a dry wine (one of my favorites) or a slightly sweet wine. It is having a nice crop for this light bearing grape. Makes a very fruity white wine. The grape has low acidity and moderate sugar content. Because it is thick skinned it is popularly used to make an "ice" wine.

AROMELLA  Wines produced from Arandell are described as densely colored, have light to moderate tannins and exhibit notes of dark berry fruit (blueberry, dark cherry), tobacco and hints of black pepper or cedar on the finish. We have a small crop this season. It ripens near end of September and is in high demand.

 

OTHER

CONCORD  What can you say? Big, purple, bursting with flavor, good for eating, juice, and wine. We have an abundant crop with large clusters this year. Everyone who has tasted this grape when young knows it will always be around. It is the ultimate in a very flavorful, very fruity, great tasting grape, How can you resist it? It  is probably also the most widely tasted grape or juice in most of the US east of the Rockies. This could be a good year to get large amounts of this grape. 

Did I mention sweet wine or fresh juice - again the Concord rules.  We expect to harvest it mid September to early October.

DELAWARE  this is a pink, light red beauty, that is tasteee. Don't wait too long on it this year. We have just a small crop, which should help it ripen fully. Among our fellow employees this probably takes top spot as favorite eating grape, seedless or wine variety. It is not well known outside the Eastern US, but once you taste it you won't forget it. It is popular as a pink and spicy, sparkling wine. The Delaware grape is also a table grape variety sold in supermarkets throughout Japan, where labrusca grape varieties are popular for their fragrance.  We will have a much smaller crop than average. It will go quickly.

 

WHITES Please remember that pressing white grapes can take a while. Please help us by having your whites ready for pressing at least 1.5 hours before closing time. Reds are usually fermented on skins before pressing. This makes a fuller bodied and flavored wine than just fermenting on the juice, as is done with white wine.

 

SEEDLESS GRAPES

SOMERSET  Delicious! Eat well! Eat again! We have begun eating this variety as we work in the vineyard. It is good even while still golden and as it turns pink it becomes hard to stay away from. It is very early ripening and will be ready to eat as early as mid-August. 

 

The Finest Grapes for Winemakers and Wineries

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Sep 2010 Mitchell Vineyard