We are so thrilled that another successful harvest is fiished. I cannot believe how quickly the season has gone by! Mother Nature had a few pleasant and unpleasant surprises for us this year.
Winter last year was extremely late with the last frost free day being three weeks behind schedule. We finished tying the pruned canes in the vineyard in mid May, three weeks behind our usual schedule. This is unprecented on the Back 10 as we are typically done pruning canes by the end of April.
We then went into summer with extrememe heat beating down on the vines. Precipitation was close to normal, but the steady amount of days over 30 C led us to a drought. The fall was a mix of extreme highs and heavy rain which made for a very challenging harvest. When rain comes and the muddy vineyard floor is wet, harvest gets pushed back. We also do not like to harvest when the grapes are wet and full of water because this essentially waters down the grapes and the juice, which we don't want!
The bad news first...(there is always a little bad news in farming) ..Harvest finished later this year due to the extreme temps and rain and our crop came in down 30 percent, as did the rest of Niagara's crops , which I think was an unpleasant surprise for all of us farmers. The silver lining is that because the yields were low, the grapes were smaller and pack a wonderful punch . Think smaller, more intense flavours. The crop this year is amazing quality and high sugars.
It has certainly been another nail biter of a season but a lovely one none the less. Ten Fold Wine Club continues to grow and the Tasting Bungalow had it's busiest season yet. We have gone to weekend hours now and are open Friday, Saturday and Sunday only.
We look forward to meeting new faces in 2019 and welcoming our regular visitors into the bungalow. I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe holiday season! Until then, we raise a glass of Smitten to each and every one of you!
Cheers! Christina and Andrew Brooks