As some of you may know from following our blog, you cannot harvest grapes from your vines until year 3. The first 2 years, the clusters have to be pinched off or removed in order for the vine to grow large enough to support the weight. The trunk must become woody and thick, as well as the cordons that stretch out over the wire.
Actually, our vines produced clusters the very first year we planted. But, the vine can actually kill themselves trying to produce fruit. So, that is some of the reasoning behind waiting 3 years.
Then, in year 3 (which is the current year we are in,) we still remove 1/2 to 2/3 of the total clusters the plant produced. We will have just short of 9 tons this year as a partial harvest. Then, officially, next year we will be in full production!
So, as we are nearing harvest time, we are still doing a lot of work in the vineyard. As the grapes turn from green to red or purple, the vine shoots off more new clusters. These clusters will not fully ripen and can change the flavor of the grapes that are ripe, so they will need to be taken off. Also, birds and raccoons, oh my! We have many animal friends that will love to feed on our grapes as soon as they get sweet enough for them to see and smell. So, we must put bird netting over the vines and a very low-to-the-ground electric fence for our racoon friends. Then, all of that will have to be removed right before we pick grapes.
So, that leads me to HARVEST TIME! We will be picking each variety as it ripens and is ready to deliver to the winery. Our first varieties should be ready in the next couple weeks. So, if you would like to help harvest the inaugural Glyn Mawr crop, we would LOVE to have you! We’ll have food and drinks and it should be a great time. So, let us know via our Facebook page, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, if you have my mom or my number, give us a call, too!
And that leads to our grapes for sale…actually, they are SOLD! We have partnered up with an outstanding local winery who distributes across Iowa. They are committing to purchasing our entire crop for the season. We are very excited to work with them!
We will keep you posted of our harvest…til next time!