The Five Senses

The Five Senses

Douglas Gayeton for Lexicon of Sustainability

The Five Senses

Location: Medlock Ames Winery, Healdsburg, CA

Featuring: Ames Morison and Chris James

Knowing when to harvest is the most important decision made in the vineyard each year. This was a very challenging growing season. A cold summer delayed ripening. This was followed by late summer heat spikes which caused sunburn. Both weather extremes greatly increase the risk of disease but instead of using chemicals Ames relied on organic solutions. Composting, integrated pest management, beneficial planting and animal grazing are just some of the practices which result in healthier vines and stronger grape skins where the color and tannin reside.

Ask Ames how he knows when to harvest these grapes and he says it takes ALL FIVE SENSES:
SIGHT = berries have a healthy bloom (naturally occurring waxy coating where wild yeasts live)
SMELL = the berries beautifully fragrant and “ready”!
TASTE = a good balance between sugar and acid (skins astringent, not bitter)
SOUND = seeds are brown, with a taste and “crack” when you bite
TOUCH = berries should pull off rachis with minimal effort

Add your thoughts to this conversation

Log in or register to post comments

Posts nearby

Location: Medlock Ames Winery, Healdsburg, CA Featuring: Ames Morison, Agustin and Royal By capturing sunlight, grape leaves convert carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to flavors in the fruit... Read more
By The Sprout, Dec 1
1 follower
Location: Healdsburg, California Featuring: Bob Klein, Founder of Community Grains Front Porch Farm grows a variety of wheats, including Frassinetto, for local food producers. Originally... Read more
By The Consumer, Jul 29
For the third year in a row, the National Heirloom Exposition in Santa Rosa, California will feature garden and agricultural exhibits, competitions, lecutures, educational events and more. The event... Read more
By The Homesteader, Oct 14