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We wrapped up our harvest season a couple weeks ago, and are happy to say it was a great success! It was a good year for our vineyard, both in quantity (pounds of grapes) and quality of the fruit. We had more than expected in all but one of our varieties. So, with the start-up of our commercial winery, the extra weight of grapes had us scrambling to order more tanks to store the wine!
With our big step into producing our own wine, we also had to quickly learn how to assemble and maneuver a lot of new equipment. Instead of hauling our picked grapes to a winery as in previous years, we had to crush our grapes and start fermentation or crush and immediately press the grapes and transfer into tanks. Our learning curve was time-sensitive, because as soon as we had a handle on one variety, the next variety was ready to be picked! :-) So, let's just say we learned VERY QUICKLY (literally) how to get this process started! There may have been one night that my mom and I stayed up the entire night (seriously...an all-nighter...sun down to sun up) as we finished pressing a large quantity of white grapes. Though it was necessary, we probably will try not to make a habit out of it. ;-)
However, amongst all of the planning, the rushing, the work, and the amount of unknowns, we are in production! :-) Our grapes are harvested and our wine is in tanks...and, we are preparing to launch our product soon! Stay tuned as we get our marketing efforts and web presence up and going, and line up our plan for getting our finished product to you. :-) Cheers!
We will be picking grapes this Sunday, 8/30, starting at 8AM. If you'd like to experience the harvest, get some fresh air, earn a little extra cash, or enjoy some company with fellow pickers, please join us! We will paying pickers $3/bin. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or message us at our Facebook page if you have any questions. We're looking forward to a great 2015 harvest!
The 2015 season in our vineyard is moving right along, as we enter into mid-summer just before the grapes start to turn. In this stage toward the end of month, the vines start to taper their growth (we hope, anyway!) and the energy of the plant moves to ripen and sweeten the berries. We have been busy with our usual maintenance routine of our vineyard…prune, mow, spray, and repeat…as fast as we can keep up! When we work our vines, it takes about 2-3 weeks (or longer) to get through all 28 rows. When you add mowing and spraying of the vines and weeds, as soon as we are finished, it is time to start over again. So, in an effort to not get behind, we keep moving! :) In addition, we have replaced 39 vines this year to make a full vineyard once again. We also have been working on thinning some of our varieties to balance out our crop from year to year. Overall, our vines are growing well as we head into the 2nd half of the growing season! 2015 has been a big year for us behind the scenes as we prepare to begin our commercial wine production. That’s right…Glyn Mawr Vineyard has officially become Glyn Mawr Vineyard and Winery! With the commercial production of wine come processes on the federal and state level, so we have been working on that this past year. We also are working on transforming all of our marketing and sales processes before our first wines will be released. We have a lot of updates coming, but there’s the saying that keeps popping in my head… “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.” With that said, we want to get some final items ironed in place before we start marketing our new side of the business!
But, rest assured, we are barely containing our excitement. :) We have always had the plan of producing wine when we planted our vines in 2009. We just needed to wait for the right time. Well, six years later, we have arrived at that time, and we are very excited for our next chapter! P.S. I had to add a recent photo of my littlest guy helping me in the vineyard. His older brother and sister have made a lot of blogs over the years, so I thought I would try to catch him up! He prefers to dig while I prune. :) ‘Til next time!
Our blog has not been as active this year, but rest assured, our efforts in the vineyard do not reflect the same! :) After a LONG winter with little to no action of bud break, it was then like a shot was fired and our grapes took off! And, we've been chasing them down since then. We were initially 4-5 weeks behind schedule, but the grapes have fully ripened and their sugar levels are increasing everyday. The bird activity is always an indicator of ripeness, so when the birds start to linger, we are putting on our bird netting. With our vines pruned and our netting on, we are ready for our harvest season. We also keep a well-maintained and groomed vineyard, so it is very picker-friendly. :)
As we prepare for our first picking weekend this Saturday, here are the details for Glyn Mawr Harvest 2014:
- We will begin our harvest Saturday, August 30, 7AM-Noon. Following harvest weekends will be listed the beginning of each week through the month of September.
- Please bring your own lunch or snacks.
- We will be paying pickers $3/lug (approx. 30/lb per lug)
- Our vineyard is located at 1618 Hwy. 38, Olin, IA (residence of Dale and Brenda Broulik.) Please call Anna (319-210-4401) or Brenda (319-480-2070) or email us at email@example.com to let us know if you can join us or if you have any other questions!
We welcome YOU and are looking forward to a great harvest season and seeing some familiar and new faces in our vineyard!
Welcome back again to another vineyard season at Glyn Mawr Vineyard! After such a long and record-breaking cold winter, our spring season went by like a blink of an eye, and we are now sitting in summer-like conditions in our vineyard! Now, I will first say, we are definitely NOT complaining that summer has finally arrived. Our vines were dormant for so long, we were wondering when we would finally see bud break. And, we are excited to work in warm conditions...that almost always beats layering on the coveralls on fighting the winds! :)
But, a short spring means less time to prepare for playing catch-up when our vines start to grow. Because, when they start to grow, there's no stopping them and my mom and I just try to master the art of maintaining the chaos! In the spring, we prune our dormant vines, and apply a lime sulfur spray as a preventative for several types of fungus. We also try to get to any trellis system maintenance, which usually involves hammering in loose staples, replacing any old or broken posts, and tightening the trellis wires. We also have to pick up all of the prunings out of the vineyard, and prepare to tackle weed control within our rows. That may sound like a short list, but when you have 1100 vines spread over 2.3 acres...it just seems to always take longer than we plan. :)
But, as we enter June, our vines are really looking healthy this year! We were unsure how this winter would affect our vines, but all varieties had very little winter kill. Overall, each variety is sporting its best spring appearance this year!! :) Time will tell how this season's crop load will look, so we'll just do our best managing the vineyard and enjoying our "therapy" time out there working! I have included some spring vineyard pics when our vines were still dormant and we were pruning and applying lime sulfur. 'Til next time!