2012 Rhode Island Harvest

Harvest day has come. After some rain on Friday, I got the call on my Rhode Island grapes. Brix was around 22, so it was about time to start picking. I was given the choice of waiting a week, but decided to just get on with it. I drove down to Tiverton, RI to pick up my 250 lbs of Merlot and 250 lbs of Cab Franc. The berries looked better than last year and the wines were a lot stronger. As we packed up the car, we realized that we needed to get creative to make sure everything fit. Luckily, everything did, and we were on our way in about an hour to go back home and process the grapes.

When we got home, I had the destemmer/crusher completely ready to go. With my dad feeding the grapes in the top, we were blazing through everything. IN about 1.5 hours, we were done. Unfortunately, the cleanup is a hassle. I had to hose everything down and make sure every nook and cranny was free from grape matter. That stuff gets everywhere!

Once I had the Brutes down in my basement, I let them sit for a couple days. Initial Brix readings for the Merlot was 21.5 and the Cab Franc was 22.5. I decided to let the grapes soak for a night and come back the enxt day and start warming them up. I added 40 ppm of SO2 for protection and covered the fermenters.