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Peake Ranch Winery


Peake Ranch Diary
and Musings from the Vineyard

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Mike Anderson
August 14, 2017 | Mike Anderson

2017 Harvest Starts!



As the first light of last Saturday showed over the hill we were already beginning the 2017 harvest!  We harvested Pinot noir at JSV for a rosé wine.  Grapes for rosé are most commonly picked well before grapes from the same variety that are destined for red wine.  The result is something more subtle, higher in acid and lower in alcohol.  An absolutely delightful product.  For reference, we can look back at a previous edition of this blog (Managing Birds) and see that winemakers start picking grapes for red wine at about 25% sugar in contrast, these rosé destined grapes had juice containing about 21% sugar.  That may not sound like that big a difference but it is and there are other components of juice chemistry that are also very different.  The rosé is closer in chemistry and style to white wine that it is to its red brother.

So we are off to the races.  This time of year is exciting in its intensity but the intensity is also exhausting.  At this point we are filled with excitement to see to product we worked on all season at the finish line.  That feeling will fade with exhaustion.

I'm glad to see you coming, I'm glad to see you go, She once told me

Jimmie Dale Gilmore

Most probably there will be a future blog about being happy we are done


Time Posted: Aug 14, 2017 at 1:36 PM Permalink to 2017 Harvest Starts! Permalink
Mike Anderson
August 3, 2017 | Mike Anderson

Smart Farming - New Team Members?


Over the past weekend we had “agri tourists” Tom Wagner (John and Gill’s son) and his long time friend Jeremy Gold.  We spent a good deal of time bouncing around in the truck and walking in vineyards with Daisy and Emily.  Much of the conversation centered around what I will refer to as “smart farming” which pretty much comes down to keeping your mind open and availing yourself of knowledge.  For instance, we have some vines that are extremely unhappy and after exhausting our own knowledge we invited Dr. Mysore Sudarshana, USDA Plant Pathologist from UC Davis, to visit us.  He came down last week with three members of his lab and went to work collecting samples in pursuit of answers.  We had a great time together and shared ideas far beyond the question of the day.  Smart Farming and good times.  In the week prior to that we had members of The Vineyard Team preform an evaluation of the drip irrigation system at Peake (we have work to do) as a possible place we could work on increasing the uniformity of the vineyard.  These were the sort of subjects Tom, Jeremy and I discussed.  They both were open minded and extremely interested, making it a great time for all three of us.  Perhaps we are cultivating our successors.

Toward the end of the day we met up with vineyard manager Fidencio Flores at a new vineyard to plant the ceremonial first vines.  I little work to go with the talk.

Today’s picture is of Tom and Jeremy planting vines under the watchful eye of Fidencio.  Steady now, I know where the vines you planted are!


Time Posted: Aug 3, 2017 at 10:27 AM Permalink to Smart Farming - New Team Members? Permalink