Harvest 2019 is quickly approaching, and over the next few weeks, our vineyard crew, production team, and winemaker will be keeping close tabs on the maturity of our grapes. Grape maturity is assessed by testing clusters that were clipped methodically through a block for sugar accumulation and acid depletion. Wine grape sampling allows our team to determine when the fruit is ready to be picked and begins roughly three to four weeks before the harvest date. Here is a look at how we begin our harvest planning at Chehalem.

Grape clusters are taken to the winery where they are crushed by hand. A colander sieve is used to press the juice from the grape skins and seeds. The juice is then collected for testing.

Sugar density (Brix), pH, and TA (titratable acidity) tests are done to help our winemaker and production team choose the best time to begin harvesting the grapes. At our Corral Creek Vineyard, the blocks of Rosé of Pinot noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris grapes are usually ready first, followed by Pinot Noir and finally Riesling.

pH: A chemical measurement of acidity or alkalinity; used by some wineries as a measurement of ripeness in relation to acidity.

Samples are prepared for more thorough laboratory testing, but taste and balance are also factors!

Perfect growing conditions this spring and summer have us shaping up for what looks like a phenomenal 2019 vintage.

We can’t wait to share these wines with you!