We harvested this last weekend. The birds were causing damage and the fruit flies attacked the damaged fruit, giving sour rot a foothold in the clusters.
Rather than lose all the fruit, I harvested a little early. The sugar was only up to 22.5 Brix for the average, but the berries tasted great, so we picked and crushed.
The net harvest turned out to be much larger than I expected, 625 lbs! This gave us 60 gallons of must (juice and pulp). I let a friend of mine, Ken, have 15 gallons, and I kept the rest. This is the most wine I’ve made at one time, and it’s a bit of a challenge with the small vessels I have.
I’ve been very busy managing the ferment (punch-downs, measurements, additions, etc), so I only had time to add a few photos.
Next weekend, we’ll press the skins and put the wine into the secondary containers. Then, Malo-lactic bacteria is added to reduce the malic acid and stabilize the wine for aging. After that, I’ll put it in the new oak barrel I just bought to finish off.
The numbers came out a little high on acid and pH, but not terrible:
Brix = 22.5