Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Too Greedy

Waiting for more Brix

But failed with the garage grapes

Looks like I should have harvested last week. The summer growth was good in the backyard grape vines that had grapes left after the mildew attacks. Daily checking resulted in a pleasing appraisal for the expected harvest. But.
Just picking a berry and measuring the sugar level is not good at the last stage without careful checking on all the bush, not just the nearest odd bunch.

Last week was the usual time of the year to pick the Garage Foxey Grapes, but the sugar levels were not great, so I left it for another week, and , DoNG! 20 Brix was okay, but waiting for 25...

Wrong, shoulda done it when I first smelt the rotting like smell a few days ago. It means every critter wants a bite. A bird was hiding in there too! Small grubs or caterpillars, bugs, argh!

I just thought to pick tonight while the weather was good after a wettish week, but as I pulled the nets off, it was oh no! Rotting or mouldy berries in nearly every bunch. Bugger.

Just too greedy!

Ah well. Brandy or vinegar this year.

The Pinot was nearly the same, very small but tasty berries, and dehydrating compared to last week. Failed again.

Picked them anyway, and have crushed them all into one container, and will see what happens. With the rotting and mildewy odd berries (had to be choosy on what was worth keeping), will hit the lot with some SMS tablets, and drop some commercial yeast in.

Pinot Noir, small but tasty, peppery too.

The pinot crop...

Garage Foxey Grapes, one third the usual harvest this year.

More on the fermentation next week.

Overall, the Portablevineyard has had a very poor year, bugger. After fourteen Vintages, the worst probably.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Vintage 2012

Almost Vintage 2012... 
The Garage Foxey grapes: Are we ready?

The nice perfumey smell of the IMBY grape vines has deteriorated a little bit like a decaying smell around the garage grapes! Looks like the bees and butterflys are in there sucking that sweet syrup from MY grapes and leaving just husks behind. The birds have tried to get in under the netting to a small degree this year, but not a lot.

This is the usual time for harvest, going back to 1999 at least. The primary school has a Maypole and fete and my dad goes trout fishing at Eucumbene Dam with his brothers. I panic, worry and fumble around for the winery kit. Measure the sugar content, whinge about some diseases erupting in some bunches, scare off the ants.

Pinot Noir
Have to tidy the Alcoholery up, move "spare timber and stuff" A to B, and tools from B to C so I can move out the grape processing gear- crusher, press, SMS/PMS, buckets, vats and snippers...  And power tools from C to D...

Not ready, or excited.

Only because, I suppose, my Shiraz crop failed completely due to mildew.

Anyway, there looks like a nice crop of garage grapes and maybe some Pinot Noir to throw in it. If it turns out okay, great, otherwise... Brandy or rum. At least a couple of bottles.

Should have a home made wine made by this time next week.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Rain, heck yeah.

Ah. But the green house..
Too much confidence?

The other week, you will recall, there was a lot of rain IMBY, all over the Portable Vineyard vines.

But I did not think of the poor old cuttings! The collection I spent so much time cultivating: weeding, spraying, watering, feeding the last 6 or so months, has ended up in the toilet.

With so much water falling freely the greenhouse denizens were completely forgotten about. Not ignored- that means you you know about it, but Forgotten about.
Oh dear. When I realised, oh crap. Really disappointed in me.

The Pinot Noir may have ONE survivor.

The Shiraz/Syrah in the shallow trays are Dead, but the ones in the pots will be fine. I think.
The rest of the vines are fine, sort of. I think that the garage grapes are nearly ready for harvest this week or next, and the Pinot Noir is too. The Shiraz group looks like it has been attacked again by mildew.

There is a small consolation in the "cemetery", a few sprouts have arisen from buried old cast offs, as it were. Voila:

In the next fortnight- Harvest 2012, blow by blow.