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The Countdown to Harvest Begins


Countdown to Harvest


We’re starting to see some purple Pinot Noir grapes in the vineyard, although they are still few and far between. I predict harvest will begin September 14th this year. Kathleen has her bets on September 10th.

We’ve been working a lot in our vegetable garden lately. Growing up in the Midwest, we were able to grow massive, juicy tomatoes because at 9 pm it was still 80 degrees. Here on Ribbon Ridge, it drops to the 50s at night, and that’s why we can grow good Pinot Noir, but our heirloom tomatoes are smaller!

Our vineyard site, and Ribbon Ridge as a whole, leans to the warmer and drier end of the spectrum. This is in part due to the drying winds from the north and west, which hit the face of the Chehalem Mountains to the north of us and funnel across Ribbon Ridge. These winds allow our grapes to ripen a little faster and the airflow helps keep mildew pressure down in the vineyard.

We dropped fruit from our Pinot Noir vines to thin out the clusters and ensure high quality grapes with concentrated flavor when harvest time arrives. Our white grape vines—Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot d’Auxerrois—keep all their fruit. They don’t need thinning like Pinot Noir does.

I'll be getting my grape totes ready for action by the end of August.  I've seen the weather change on a dime around here and I like to be ready to go at a moment's notice.

For now, we patiently await our 15th harvest season here at Ayres Vineyard.



Brad McLeroy

Winemaker and Co-Owner, Ayres Vineyard & Winery

Winery NewsBrad McLeroy