Page 10 - Grapevine September 2020
P. 10

In The Winery

                                                    September with early hybrid white varieties (Cayuga, Frontenac
                                                    Gris) and fruit for traditional method sparkling wines,” says Lutes.
                                                    “In a year like this, as we are advanced at this stage, that could
                                                    move up one week or so. September is the telltale month for our
                                                    industry, and much will depend on how the weather is during that
                                                    month. We will be crushing approximately 650 tons of fruit between
                                                    the two facilities. We farm approximately 175 acres of that, and the
                                                    balance is purchased from a couple of long-time local growers.”

                                                      Aurora Cellars is also located on Leelanau Peninsula. This full
                                                    production boutique winery usually begins crush season in late
                                                    September. Winemaker Drew Perry says that in late August, he
                                                    spends time with the winery’s vineyard manager, testing fruit in
                                                    every block twice weekly, charting a trajectory for harvest. As to
                                                    fundamentals, Perry champions good and constant communication.

                                                      “I begin by looking at what we ideally want to produce and create
                                                    a master list of all the ingredients I will need to achieve that scenar-

                                                      Perry says that equipment maintenance occurs a week before the
                                                    region’s cherry harvest, serving as “spring training” for the grape

                                                      “Harvest is the most equipment intensive time of year. Much of
                                                    the equipment we use during harvest is only used for that three-
                                                    month period,” he says. “The presses, destemmer, crusher, and fruit
                                                    elevator are our lifeblood this time of year.”

                                                      Crush season 2020 is like no other in recent memory. The combi-
                                                    nation of a pandemic and adverse weather has affected nearly every
                                                    facet of the wine industry—from the vineyard to labor to inventory
                                                    still on hand. The path to recovery, some experts say, includes cre-
                                                    ative thinking and time-tested perseverance.

               Page 8                        The Grapevine • September - October 2020                            877-892-5332

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