We picked our Grenache and Counoise on Wednesday. The crew did a great job of field-sorting and we saw almost no rot in the bins. Yields on these varieties were way down: 2.60 t/ac for the Counoise (most of the loss to rot over the last couple of weeks) and an unprecedentedly low 1.80 t/ac for the Grenache. The per vine yields on the Grenache were about twice that — still below normal — but we lost all the crop on 1/3 of the block to frost early in the year. The Grenache was saved from rot because the clusters were open and berries small — caused by shatter during set. This is Botrytis in a cluster of Counoise. We thinned this off — and every other cluster like it — before harvest.
Open Grenache clusters with small berries and no Botrytis.
So here is the song that has been playing repeatedly in my head for the last 45 days — “Fearless” by Pink Floyd, my 2010 harvest soundtrack:
You say the hill’s too steep to climb — Climbing.
You say you’d like to see me try — Climbing.
You pick the place and I’ll choose the time
And I’ll climb that hill in my own way.
Just wait a while for the right day.
And as I rise above the treeline and the clouds
I look down, hear the sound of the things you said today.
Fearlessly the idiot faced the crowd — Smiling.
Merciless the magistrate turns ’round — Frowning.
And who’s the fool who wears the crown?
No doubt, in your own way.
And every day is the right day.
And as you rise above the fear-lines in his brow
You look down, hear the sound of the faces in the crowd.
(From the album Meddle, Harvest/EMI, 1971)