It’s October and the only remaining on-property estate grape on the vine is Norton. Each grape is ready for harvest at different times in the season, depending on when it comes ripe. Here at Noboleis, red grapes Norton and Chambourcin usually reach the desired Brix (measurement of sugar content) during late September to mid October. However our estate whites, Traminette and Vignoles, are ready much earlier in August or early September. We harvest several other grapes (Vidal Blanc, Seyval Blanc, etc) from nearby vineyards as well, namely Crimson Cabernet. Crimson Cabernet while not on our property, is in the Augusta AVA and is still considered an estate grape to us because we care for and control the vineyard.
As for Norton, the last estate-grown, on-property grape that still hangs on the vine…we wait. Any day now we will be satisfied enough with it’s ripeness and complexity to bring in the harvester. This season’s harvest has been quite bountiful, filling tanks to the brim with juice and Norton will likely be no different. We will harvest the grapes and place them in T-bins for punching-down before the juice finds it’s final resting place in a barrel or tank. Harvest season always brings bounty along with unpredictable volumes making the tank-barrel-puzzle a continuous game for Brandon and Gabe to play!