With most of the blocks through veraison, we are now moving through the vineyard in order of varietal ripening, dropping fruit with the goal of getting close to targeted yields. We will leave just a little extra fruit now to allow for a final pass at which time we will remove any lower quality fruit and make final yield adjustments. This is one of the most difficult and subjective parts of vineyard operations during the course of the season.
Yield is equal to the number of clusters per vine x the average cluster weights. The clusters will increase in weight from lag phase to harvest by 2X. We are weighing and counting clusters prior to moving into each block to establish a current average cluster weight, per block and will then estimate final harvest cluster weight as a percentage cluster weight increase from this point in time. With this information in hand, we will then reduce the number of clusters per vine to determined numbers. Fruit is removed in this order: short shoot fruit; bunched fruit; grapes that are significantly behind in veraison; and fruit that needs to be dropped to allow the proper number of clusters for targeted yields. For a look at the vineyard this month, click here.