Well, we OFFICIALLY made it through our very first harvest at Glyn Mawr Vineyard! It was a bit crazy, a bit hot, a bit COLD, a bit rainy, a bit chaotic, a bit tiring, and a lot of fun! Now, the fun part may be subject to opinion :) ...but, it was fun for me, at least!
We had a lot of friends and family come and help out each of the weekends, and we definitely would not have been able to get it done without them! So, thank you to EVERYONE who helped out. Also, another big thank you to our friends, Bob and Betty, who generously let us borrow their Gator to help haul in the grapes from the vineyard to the shop. That was such a help!
We harvested all 6 of our varieties on 3 separate weekends, dependent on when the winery needed to have them, as well as when our grapes were ready to harvest. It took a little planning on both ends, but it worked out well. Also, the winery is planning to offer some new wines with our grapes, so we'll be excited to see how their finished product turns out!
We harvested just shy of a 1/2 of crop this year. On some varieties, it was closer to 1/3 of a crop...we just took off more clusters earlier in the year. So, next year we will have at least twice the amount of grapes to pick as this year...more than double in some rows.
With that said, we know we will need more help for longer periods of time, so that will be a focus point for next year. We also have learned a little about the bird netting and will make changes to our efforts in putting that on and taking it off in following years as well.
Other than that, our harvesting system did work pretty well for being novices! Of course, the surplus of food and drinks helped to keep our crew happy, and that will always be a staple for a harvest! Another little thought I have brewing in my head is a possible fall/harvest festival next year. It is just a thought right now, but stay tuned and we'll see if that becomes a possibility. :) Other than that, we have cleaned up the vineyard and put everything away for the year.
There are some little projects and to-dos that we need to complete before the cold of the winter comes, but it's okay to take a little breather before tackling those. :) We need to loosen the trellis wires, mow and spray one more time, and remove any possible clusters that may have missed. We could also remove bamboo poles we have attached to some plants since they are big enough and do not need the support any longer. But, all in all, we had a great season and will enjoy a little break now and look forward to another season next year!