A personal perpsective of life in our Virginia vineyard... Christine Wells Vrooman



It hurts sooo bad.....

To drop fruit!! "Dropping fruit" is the industry term for cutting off fruit from the vine during the ripening process before harvest.  This is done for a couple of reasons.  If too much fruit is on the vine, it is believed that the intensity of flavor is diminished, so the fewer the berries, the more flavorful the crop.  The other reason is to help achieve a more uniform ripening.  By removing those clusters whose ripening is lagging behind the others, we will achieve a brix (sugar) level more close to our desired percentage.  This must be done at a point when the majority of grapes have changed color, but not all.  If done too late, we cannot tell which of the grapes just turned.  They might appear as ripe as the others, but their sugar and acid levels are not where we want them to be.  So a good time to accomplish both goals is now when we are almost through veraison (color change).
Can you pick out the two clusters I ended up snipping off this vine?

After struggling to produce fruit on our young and under-vigorous vines last year, this year it really is painful to remove these beautiful, perfect, large clusters of grapes.   So I decided to put the riper ones cut from the over-abundant vines to use and make some Pinot Noir jelly from the juice.  The juice is now in the fridge.  I'm too busy to make the jelly right now though.  Hopefully I will get to it before it starts to ferment. 

And I am soo glad.... we spent all that time, energy and money putting up all that netting that will keep those cute little birds from feeding on our crop!

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