Hot Times in the Vineyard

Veraison at OFV

At the beginning of July, the grapes were starting to plump up with about 30 days before veraison when the grapes begin to change color and about 60 days to harvest.

Then followed a month of hot weather with highs in the 90s and 100s and little to no rain. The vines shut down at approximately 90 degrees Fahrenheit and basically go into survival mode, so the excessive heat really isn’t of benefit.

Luckily, August has brought some cooler temperatures and it’s game on at Old Folsom Vineyard. The grapes are ripening and the sugars will increase while the acids back off. Great wine starts in the vineyard. You can’t make great wine with bad grapes—and that includes no bird damage. As we shepherd these grapes towards harvest, we start our annual battle with “the birds” (mainly starlings and robins).

scene from The Birds

At the end of the month, with help from a dedicated and generous crew of friends and family, we covered the rows with miles of nets. Marnie has been experimenting with different ways of securing the nets in hopes of minimizing the wind blown holes for birds to sneak through. Stay tuned for her status report on what she has tried and what she has found to work best…

In the meantime, think happy thoughts and hopefully these grapes will make it to your glass at Firehouse Wine Cellars. In addition to our usual harvest, we are looking forward to our first vintage of Petite Pearl this fall!