Thursday, October 21, 2010

Coming around to final postings, on the 2010 harvest

Well . . . So many interesting twists and turns, this year. Harvest is ending today. The grapes picked now should make pretty good wine, although many winemakers are buying sugar because the grapes' ripeness levels are not up to the point (21-24 Brix) for the desired level of alcohol. But flavors can develop independently of the sugar level, and this (near-miraculous) long Fall did allow for flavor development.

Bird predation almost completely wiped me out, but I was surprised to read that it also took a very heavy toll on commercial vineyards. One used propane cannons, cap guns, shotgun-wielding employees riding an ATV through the vineyard from dawn to dusk (!), and recorded bird distress cries, and still lost a huge fraction of fruit to the winged pests. Birds know how to worm their way inside of the nets, and they can peck out grapes through the nets. The bird pressure was the worst in over 20 years.

Who will develop a solar-powered hawk-like aircraft which can be programmed (like a Predator drone in Afghanistan) to protect a vineyard? It's hard to eat when a known killer is circling nearby, looking at you.

So, bring on the rains! They are only hours away now. Let's see what develops in bottle, from this almost-disaster, almost-miracle year of 2010.

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