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Hafner Vineyard

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Through the Expert's Lens

What does the expert see?! I took the below photo of a recently formed grape cluster on June 7. While I see beautiful lush green leaves and the excitement of a potential harvest, we wanted to know what vineyard manager, David Huebel, sees when he looks at the photo. He shares the first 5 things that he notices in the picture.
Cabernet Grapes

1. “It’s taken in the early morning light with nice exposure.”

2. “We have good fruit set with an ideal number of berries.”

That means I don’t see any evidence of flowers that weren’t pollinated (that ultimately wouldn’t become grapes) and the cluster is not too tight, so that the sunlight can reach the entirety of the berries and ripen them evenly.

3. “The berries are ‘BB size’.”

The berries will grow to ‘pea size’ then continue to grow a bit more. Later, we will see véraison where the berries accumulate sugar, soften and change color. The Chardonnay vérasion is about six weeks away.

4. “It is a Cabernet leaf.”

I know this because Cabernet has deep sinuses.

5. “We are halfway to harvest.”

"I’m feeling like harvest is going to be here before I know it. Time seems to be racing by. The canopy (shoots and leaves, green foliage) is continuing to grow, so I have some concerns, but we are seeing heat spikes that will help to slow that growth. So far, we are trending towards a similar harvest start as the past two years."