How do we know how much wine we will make this year? Can you prepare for the large (or small) amount of grapes you will harvest? Thankfully, for both these questions, the answer is YES!
During the lag-phase of the grape's maturation, we take advantage of the slowing of growth to weigh the grape clusters. With this information, we can estimate how many clusters of grapes each vine will produce and how much wine we will receive after harvest.
The process is a little bit of science, a little bit of dirty work, and a lot of fun!
We take two grape clusters (like the one's pictured above) from 12 different areas of the block we want to measure. This gives us a good look at how the entire vineyard is doing since some areas can be more mature than others. As we take samples from each test vine, we also count how many clusters are on each vine. This will help us later.
Once we have taken our samples, we weigh all the clusters as one, then weigh each cluster individually. We then average the weight of the clusters.
Remember, how we counted how many clusters there were per vine? We calculate the average cluster weight x number of clusters per vine x number of vines in the vineyard block. And VOILA! We can calculate approximately how many tons per acre we will have for harvest (for that varietal).
Does your brain hurt yet? Don't worry, mine does too, that's why I drink wine!