One of our most prominent seasons has returned to Pippin Hill – it’s Harvest time! Our Limelight Hydrangeas have bloomed, our Gardens are overflowing with fresh produce, and our team is hard at work picking our fruit during an optimal harvest season!
We sat down with our Vineyard Manager, Brooks Hoover, to learn about the work he and his team have been doing for the past year to acquire more award-winning wines from our 2019 harvest! In 2018, our Pippin Hill wines earned 11 total awards (a Bronze medal, seven silver medals, and three gold medals) in addition to the Governor’s Cup, which is the greatest number of awards we’ve accumulated since our Establishment in 2011!
To determine when the grapes are prime for the picking, Brooks says he and his team keep a close eye on every physical and chemical aspect of the fruit to determine the optimal timing for harvest. A careful balance of components like astringency, acidity, sugars, and potassium are closely monitored to determine when the fruit is prime for picking.
Harvest dates can change on a dime depending, mostly, on weather forecasts. Rain and heat can make or break the overall success of a harvest, and whether the focus is on pH, acidity or sugar levels of the grapes, too much or too little of anything can really throw off the success of the harvest. So far, the harvest has encompassed pickings from Sauv Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot, Viognier, and the Petit Manseng, and upcoming picks will include Cabernet Francs, Vidal Blanc, Tannat, and the Petit Verdot.
While our harvests have typically run from August through late October, Brooks is forecasting to have picked 85 tons of fruit by the very beginning of October. Given that 2019 has been a consistently dryer year that most, our fruit have been given optimal conditions for growth. The harvest, as a result, has not only been ahead of schedule, but Brooks is particularly pleased with both the growth and composition of the fruit for this year’s harvest and is aiming for perfection from the nose, to the pallette, to the finish.
Stay tuned for the release of our 2019 Wines!