First week of classes

Sun rising over the Buick as I got to the vineyard.
Sun rising over the Buick as I got to the vineyard.
Two of the three heights the vines were trained (or not) to.
Two of the three heights the vines were trained (or not) to.

Another early morning to pick grapes, this time Semillon.  I spent four hours in the vineyard before I ate anything, so I was sticky, achy and very hungry when I got back to the EV building to change out of my Carhartts and boots.  It was

Semillon grapes from the Stan Clarke Vineyard, 2013.
Semillon grapes from the Stan Clarke Vineyard, 2013.
Four full bins of Semillon grapes for our 2013 harvest, Stan Clarke Vineyard.
Four full bins of Semillon grapes for our 2013 harvest, Stan Clarke Vineyard.

a bit windy, but no rain.  The vines were loaded with huge clusters; we pulled nearly 3 tons!  I preferred picking from the higher trained vines, some of them were above my head while the lower trained and unsupported vines had fruit very low to the ground.  After picking in high heat, rain and now moderate temperatures, I am aware that my gloves will not be sufficient as the temperatures drop; something else will have to be found before we harvest the Cabernet Sauvignon for ice wine or I won’t feel my fingers after the first few clusters.  It is way quieter in the vineyard than in the cellar!

Yeah, forklift certification - finally official!
Yeah, forklift certification – finally official!
Punching down the Syrah juice with oak chips and a bit of Viognier.
Punching down the Syrah juice with oak chips and a bit of Viognier.

We received our forklift certification documents this week.  After watching several people run the forklift and being on the propane forklift at the small winery I help at, I feel pretty good about having this.

Before soils class we took the time to punch down the Syrah juice with some additional oak ‘string beans’ tossed in.  There will be lots of this as we go forward with the wine, but for now, it is still exciting to do.  Our juice sample went upstairs to the ETS lab right after we punched down and the results were back in time for our last class of the day.  Nice balance of sugars and acids, so minimal additions will be necessary when we inoculate on Monday.

Taking a juice sample for chemical analysis at the independent ETS lab upstairs.
Taking a juice sample for chemical analysis at the independent ETS lab upstairs.

Now I get to go relax in the tub in an attempt to sooth some aching muscles.  I have a very full load of laundry to do this evening too.  Will continue to study as early next week we have a soils lab due and our EV group has to have come up with a plan for the five gallons of Viognier we will make this quarter.

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