Harvest time: Wineries optimistic about 2012 grapes

September 2012 Posted in Food & Drink, Other

Local vineyard managers are developing strategies to prevent a flock of thieves from snatching the fruits of their labor. From firing cannons to covering their grapes with nets, vineyard managers are attempting to keep birds from stealing their grapes.

Sharon Deckelmann of Vitis Ridge Winery in Silverton said the birds cause damage and consume a significant amount of fruit.

“We’ll soon start using a variety of scare tactics, which include canons and distressed bird calls,” she said. “We apologize to our neighbors and those in the surrounding area for the extra noise.”

Despite the fall harvest being the busiest time of year at a vineyard, members of the East Willamette Valley Wineries and Vineyard Association took some time to share what’s happening.

Christopher Bridge Cellars
12770 S. Castro Road, Oregon City

At Satori Springs Vineyard, we have bottled our 2011 Christopher Bridge Estate Pinot Noir, a standout vintage!

So far, the 2012 growing season has proven easy compared to last year, with earlier bloom and warmer temperatures. Cool nights and warm days are now favoring the development of flavor and structure in this new vintage, currently in the running for one of Oregon’s best yet. The Ehrenfelser, now in its third year since first being planted, has undergone a “thinning,” during which a heavier than desired amount of fruit on the vine is reduced. Cheers from Satori Springs!

Susanne Carlberg

Domaine Margelle
20159 Hazelnut Ridge Road, Scotts Mills

Domaine Margelle celebrated the marriage of our vineyard manager Alonzo Martinez during Labor Day weekend. Alonzo has been with us since 2005 and we have watched his relationship with Alejandrina Felipe develop and blossom during that time.  The couple said their vows before guests looking out over the vineyard.  The ceremony was done both in English and Spanish representing their blended cultures. Guests walked from the vineyard to the reception following a fully costumed Mariachi band. The celebration continued into the evening with traditional food and dance.

Marci Taylor

Forest Edge Vineyard
15640 South Spangler Road,  Oregon City

With the approach of fall, our thoughts turn to harvest, trying to predict harvest dates and estimate the amount of grapes hanging on the vine. 2012 looks to be a better yield than the last two years. Our Leon Millot was the first to shift color, starting on Aug. 8, and was almost done by the beginning of September. White wine grapes are a little trickier to determine, since the grapes don’t change color but change from opaque to translucent, which is starting in our Chardonnay. Our next event is Oct. 13, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Arch Bridge Farmers Market in Oregon City. This is special event to celebrate the reopening of the historic Arch Bridge over the Willamette River, connecting Oregon City and West Linn.

Jan Wallinder

Hanson Vineyards
34948 S Barlow Road, Monitor

Being one of Oregon’s smallest family-owned, estate wineries means wearing many hats. Some days we get to play in the winery, on weekends we throw open the gates and pour wine for intrepid wine tasters… but the majority of our time is spent as farmers, tending to the vines. And this is a busy time in the vineyard. The grapes are mostly thinned and set, but soon we’ll be hanging up nets to keep the pesky birds away from the precious fruit. And then we’ll begin harvest of our earliest ripening varietal, Madeleine Angevine. This will be our first vintage of Madeleine Angevine, a grape common in the Loire Valley of France, southern England and the Puget Sound area.  In addition to ripening much earlier than most other wine grapes, it is known as a wonderful match to fish and seafood.  We believe we’re one of the only growers of this grape in all of Oregon.

Jason Hanson

Piluso Vineyard and Winery
Aumsville

The vines look great this year (similar to Oregon’s famed 2008 vintage Pinot Noir) with lush green canopy and well-balanced fruit, starting veraison, a change of color from green to purple and a predicted average harvest-date for the third week of October. The 2011 vintage is aging nicely in barrel and showing great breadth of fruit, color and long finishes and we plan to bottle the first week of October. Our Vintner’s Garden has become a popular spot, available to tasting guests for picnics and family gatherings.

Sandee Piluso

Pudding River Wine Cellars
9374 Sunnyside Road, NE, Salem

We completed the renovation of our new tasting room at the Red Barn. We doubled our space and left some great features of the original barn to retain that rustic feel. It was finished just in time for Labor Day weekend and we are now reopened seven days a week.

Sean Driggers

Vitis Ridge Winery
990 N First, Silverton

The fruit is ripening nicely with the warm and dry spell we’re having. Although this is good news, we’re also seeing more and more birds which can be detrimental to our crops.

At Vitis Ridge Winery, we’ll soon be bottling Marechal Foch and three other reds. Watch for the 2011 Foch release towards the end of September. We’ll also be getting our processing area prepared for the upcoming harvest. New tanks are on the way and supplies are ordered. Our tasting room will continue to be open Friday through Sunday, where you can taste wine amongst the barrels and watch the crush.

Pheasant Run
Historic Bank Building in Aurora

We are releasing the second edition of our best selling wine, Bank Robber Red. This criminally good blend is even better- made with Walla Walla Cabernet & Horse Heaven Hills Merlot and a touch of Grenache – it is big, bold with a silky smooth finish. Stop by and help us celebrate the fall season.

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