Harvest has begun in Texas! I am still waiting for my first batch of grapes to be ready but as the time approaches, I am reminded of the beautiful and interesting moments of past harvests.
Last harvest (2022) had a multitude of interesting moments. Heat and other factors led to lower yields in the Hill Country, and a logistical mishap led to a batch of Viognier ( some destined for The Cause) to be left on the side of the road – never to see the inside of a wine bottle. So, I had to be flexible and ended up making wines from grapes not on my original list (including Trebbiano – which turned out to be AMAZING, and Tempranillo – still barrel aging). Despite the rains that pushed back harvest dates and made the chemistry interesting, it was still a beautiful harvest.
Every year, despite what happens, the moment that grapes arrive fills me with joy. I simply cannot wait to begin the winemaking process! The vast majority of wineries in Texas use commercial yeasts, and I just love “waking” it up and introducing it to its new source of food. I love checking the progress of fermentation every day afterwards, and I love doing punchdowns and pumpovers to keep the red grape skins in contact with the juice beneath. I love the smells and the general buzz of excitement in the air. I also simply love the physical nature of every winemaking task. Harvest includes long days, but I never seem to feel tired.
So, below are photos of some of those beautiful and interesting moments during the 2022 harvest. 2023 harvest, here I come!
Thank you for reading!
My newly bottled Trebbiano is now available (it is gorgeous – with candied peaches on the nose and crisp green apples and citrus on the palate)! A portion of proceeds support The Houston Arboretum & Nature Center.