November 18, 2022Harvest 2022 Posted By : Mitchell Lewis Staver/ 0 comments / Under : Vineyard Management The 2022 fall harvest started at 6:15am on September 19th with the Albariño from block G, and concluded at 9:30am on October 20th with the Cabernet Sauvignon in block H. Join Us – 2022 Harvest Just before sunrise on each harvest day, the crew rolls out with music emanating from the tractor down the vine rows. With buckets in hand as the morning light crests the Eastern horizon, pickers glide from vine to vine, well-paced to keep their fingers just warm enough under gloves. The team moves through the vines like a cohesive organism. Buckets are tossed, grapes are picked, and bins are filled. A whistle rings out – indicating it’s time to bring the tractor up the row. A bin inches up the slope. Bucket by bucket, grapes are poured into the harvest bin, slowly filling with the fruits of labor. Scanning the contents, pickers pull leaves from the haul and shift around the sticky fruit to fill each bin evenly to capacity. Row by row, repetition hits a pace, and progress can be watched as pickers move across the hillsides. Filled harvest bins are carted by tractor from the blocks to the main landing, where viticulturist Joe checks the fruit. Weighing each bin, he logs the stats in his paperwork, noting the haul for the year. With each bin now weighed, Joe loads up the flatbed truck for delivery. The sweet and sour smells of grapes fill the air, and can be continuously smelled down to the highway. With his dog companion Salvador in the truck cab beside him, Joe pulls out for his deliveries all through the Columbia Gorge and down into the Willamette Valley. Upon delivery, Joe greets winemakers who eagerly unload their fruit. Some choose to chill for the time being, while others process immediately, dumping the harvest bins directly into the sorting line. Joe’s Harvest Summary There is a shift in the atmosphere as the wild harvest energy simmers down and we transition back to normalcy. Looking back to the beginning of the year, the excitement was palpable knowing that this would be the first significant harvest at Threemile. For the first time, 16 of our cultivars would be mature enough to harvest. Just as the season was beginning to warm up, we were struck with a surprise early season frost. Though it was poor timing for freezing temperatures, there was very little damage to the buds. The majority of the vines affected were in the upper blocks, which were not ready for harvest for this year. We had a remarkably wet and cool spring continuing all the way to early summer. We received about five times the regular precipitation and roughly half of the heat accumulation compared to the same time last year. As we approached fall harvest, the forecast was remarkable to any grape grower. With high to moderate temperatures and no rain from September through October, the grapes were allowed to retain ideal acid and sugar levels late into the season. The lack of early autumn rain allowed for each grape to continue ripening through October, pacing out our various cultivar picking to the exact moment of ideal ripening. Joe enjoyed seeing the characteristics of each grape coming through, notably the Mencia which took off in growth in July, later than other cultivars. Due to the cool temperatures during the fruit set, the more vulnerable Grenache was mainly affected; however, the fruit survived the cold and the quality rang through. Over the span of 25 days, 14 days of those were used for grape harvest. With no impending weather events to work around, there was a lot of ease to scheduling the pickings day by day. Roughly 77 acres were picked this year, with many more to come next year. The Threemile team would like to thank our amazing winemaking partners for their communication and coordination to get fresh grapes to wineries promptly. We would also like to thank Results Partners for their heroic harvesting team, working early and long hours to get the freshest pick possible.