Night Picking – A Journal in Photos

Picking - Halter Ranch Vineyard

Cool Grapes


This is just a taste of the awesome activities we partake in late at night during harvest season.  Welcome to the latest update on our staff vineyard project.  The three teams–New Kids on Block 3, Oscar’s Grouches, 21 and Holding–have all successfully harvested their respective vineyard blocks as of this morning.



New Kids on Block 3


By harvesting the grapes under the light of the moon and stars (and some rented construction lights ‘ ) we insure consistency of temperature among the berries.  When the grapes are cool, they don’t crush as easily and this prevents the loss of skins and seeds we want in the mix during primary fermentation.


Lucas and Miguel

Miguel and Lucas Look Tough


The crews begin picking somewhere between 8 pm and 12 am and work for 4-8 hours.  On a big night they will pull in between 25 and 30 tons of fruit.



That’s a 30 pound bin of grapes.


Block 6 Malbec was picked two weeks ago in a joint effort between The New Kids (Molly, Sarah, Katie, Kim, and T) and the vineyard crews.  A little over 8 tons of grapes were brought in and combined with a little Malbec from Block 42 to fill 1 ten ton fermenter.  The grapes were cold soaked for 5 days before innoculation.



1/2 ton of Block 33 Merlot


Merlot block 33 was harvested under a full moon in another collaboration between cellar, winery, tasting room, and vineyard staff.  Oscar’s Grouches sorted and crushed 8.5 tons of Merlot and similarly added 1.5 tons of 42 Malbec to fill a 10 ton fermenter.  After 4 days of cold soaking, the fruit was innoculated with yeast to kickstart primary fermentation.



3 of 5 Oscar’s Grouches and a Raul Photo Bomb


Block 21 Cabernet Sauvignon was harvested last night under the watchful eyes and swift hands of team 21 and Holding.  6.5 tons of fruit will likely be combined with 3.5 tons from elsewhere in the vineyard to fill a 10 ton tank.  Expect an update with more precise detail soon.


21 and Holding


Check back next week for coverage of the process following the pick and cold soak!  Thank you to Lindsay Peugh, Molly Strupp, and Kim Potvin for contributing photos.

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