i'm a bit hesitant in writing about testing our grape's sugar levels and ph balances without ger around for my factoids. its late wednesday and most likely gerald is making his way back from the farm. hopefully, he's found the viognier has enough of the stuff for a second harvest. i'll give it a good go and post this as a serial.
in order to test the sugar and acidic levels of our grapes, our intrepid vineyard manager (gerald) turns to his trusted intern (me) and says, "pick grapes." he's taught me to gather a proper sampling by picking the grapes in as random a fashion as possible. so i head down each proofing row and pick a berry either from the top, left side, right side, bottom, front, back, near the cordon or further down the branch. i do this for each variety and get a good cup full. lately, we've been taking the samplings back to charlotte hall. we beat the heat of the day, eat lunch and test the grapes.
tools of the trade: a refractometer for measuring brix (sugar levels), grape samples and the trustee sieve. now we also use a food ricer gerald's dad bought us. gerald pours the grapes into the ricer and gives the contents a good squeeze, sending the grapes' juice into a small container. next to the small container: an eye dropper--what will happen next?! stay tuned for tomorrow's posting....