Early August and we’re starting to gear up for this year’s harvest. After a tricky start to the growing season we can now begin to predict the volume of wine that each of our parcels of vines is going to produce assuming of course that things go smoothly from here to harvest. That’s actually quite a big assumption given the havoc the weather can cause in August & September but we’ll cross that bridge if we come to it!!
This morning Jack and I have been out sampling the average number of bunches on each vine. Choosing some rows at random we’ve counted the bunches on every 3rd vine and now we’re weighing some sample bunches and the answer is……… somewhere between 5.6 & 8.75 tonnes of grapes for our Braucol Le Combe parcel pictured here. Making some more assumptions about the juice we’ll extract from these bunches we’ve estimated that this hectare parcel will give us about 4000 litres of juice = red wine (5,300 bottles). This is great and puts us right in our target area for yield for Braucol which is a tricky variety to ripen fully.
Why does all this matter?
- We have tank space for these volumes so no need to panic on that front
- We know that, given good ripening conditions between now and the harvest in mid-October, Braucol at these yields will stay healthy and ripen fully
- Because we don’t have too much fruit there’s no need to green harvest this parcel as we have in some previous years. Green harvesting means cutting off excess bunches whilst they’re still green to get the yield into the target range, for example in 2014 I cut off 12 tonnes of fruit from this parcel which was a lot of hard work!!!
- For red Gaillac Appellation d’Origine Controlee (AOC) wines the maximum yield per hectare is 9.5 tonnes of grapes and 5500 litres of wine – so we’ll be happily within those quality limits
So far so good for the theory. We’ll let you know how things pan out in real life!
All the best Margaret & Jack