And so it begins

What a nice way to kick off harvest season. It finally had stopped raining so we left for the vineyard after lunch to meet with two friends and my dad. We have a little parcel of Perle which needed to be picked.

Melanie and Robin picking the grapes

Or let’s say: the leftovers needed to be picked. Although I had put a lot of work into these vines this year the grapes were in a sad condition. Mice, birds, wasps and vinegar flies leading to damaged grapes rotting from the outside. Plus all the rain we had since the mid of August – yesterday alone we got another 30l/m2. Which leads to bursting berries and grapes rotting from the inside. Have a look:

Rotten grapes

And last but not least there weren’t that many grapes due to the frost we had in spring. So after throwing away all the dirty stuff our first grape box wasn’t even full when we were finished. Oh well. It’s going to be an exclusive little batch …

Perle in the grape box

Back in the winery we used kind of a mesh strainer to manually destem the grapes. I built it a few weeks ago for that purpose.  I had done a test a couple of days ago but it was awesome to see it actually working quite well with a whole box of grapes.

Bastian destemming grapes

And finally it was time for Melanie’s big show!

Melanie crushing the grapes

There was some squeaking involved in the beginning but it seemed to be fun after a while as more and more grapes were crushed. The idea was to only crush half of them to get carbonic maceration underway: the juice should start fermenting producing CO2 which then should let the uncrushed grapes start fermenting from the inside. Let’s see how it will work out!

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