Wednesday, October 2, 2019

How Many Grapes did I harvest this year? | Container Vineyard Harvest 2019 | Year 5

Another year of the container vineyard. After the several months of care, maintenance, and pest prevention measures, the grapes were ready to harvest. Let's see how many grapes I can harvest this year.

If you haven't watched the previous vineyard update, you may be wondering why there are so many paper bags hanging from my grapevines. These bags are protecting my clusters from predators. Namely birds. There were a few clusters I was not able to cover when I went through last month, and I can see that those ones were picked clean by now. Those birds are vicious! Give them nothing!
To harvest the vines, I went through with my scissors and snipped the stems from the vines. And no, I didn't unbag the grapes first. It's much easier to unbag them once they are off the vine. This is pretty  straight forward, just laborious with so many grape vines producing multiple clusters each. I'm betting next year's production will be even higher!
So with all the bags snipped off, now comes to unbagging and reviewing the harvest.
Here is this year's harvest. And compared to the 2018 harvest....

I think the total yield this year was higher. However, most of my clusters were left on the vines perhaps a week or 2 too long and had dried up or got some kind of mildew. Because of this, I will not be turning this year's grape harvest into wine. I know, it's a bit of a disappointment, but I don't want to produce a small amount of poor tasting wine with this. Poor quality grapes cannot make great wine. At least I'll have some sweet tasting snacks to chew on for the next week or so... even with the seeds.

A few lessons can be learned from this year's harvest.
1) drip irrigation rates. I'll need to review how the new drip system played a role in grape size and quality.
2) Fertilizer, I definitely needed to stop by the vineyard more often to fertilize. This is my fault due to my busy schedule and obligations.
3) Summer heat. There were a few weeks of 100+ weather leading up to the harvest. I imagine the heat had an impact at reducing grape quality.
With those lessons learned this year, the grapes will now go into dormancy. I'll be looking to taking many cuttings this winter to propagating more vines and perhaps helping my buddy start up his own vineyard with these vines and cuttings. Be sure to subscribe to Greens and Machines to follow along with the container vineyard chronicle through the next year. Perhaps next year we'll able to make some good wine for once!

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