We headed back to Westport at the end of August as the kids were going back to school. Prior to leaving, we weighed up all the options, took measurements of this and that and pretended to ourselves that we had some sort of idea as to what we were doing and when we would actually pick the grapes.
We decided that Sinead would come back just two weeks later to start picking – and made plans for one of the earliest harvests ever.
If we ever had the need to see into the future, we really needed it then – not only for the grapes, but also into the pricing strategy at Aer Lingus. I’d be a liar if I didn’t acknowledge that even after a long, hard summer of work in the vineyards, some thought also goes into minimising the cost of shuttling back and forwards at harvest time!
So with flights booked, Sinead headed back over to Slovenia in mid-September. But of course it had rained in the meantime….. come on, who said this was easy! Now began a waiting game…. Rain meant that the vines were refreshed and had started working away again on getting those gapes fully ripe. But at the same time, the threat of rot was increasing…
It wasn’t actually that much rain, but it had vastly different effects on the Sipon and Modra Frankinja.
The Sipon just gave up. After a long dry summer, the grapes had hard, tight skins. The additional water caused them to rupture – particularly where they had been previously affected by oidium – and once ruptured, they started to decay. But they still weren’t ripe enough to pick.
|Beginning to rupture - but still unripe in background..|
The Modra Frankinja, on the other hand, had lovely, slightly springy skins and relished the additional liquid – a bit like giving a slightly limp balloon a few extra gulps of air. Things were looking better here – but still not quite ready…
|Now that looks a bit better!|
Sinead busied herself helping with friends’ harvests for earlier ripening varieties like Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat Ottonel and even some Traminec – and also getting more and more frustrated…..