The day started early at Castano Prado Vineyard. This vineyard, owned by Tom and Linda Hesse and Tere Caswell, had Albarino grapes ready on Friday morning.
As expected this year, the yield was lighter than the owners would have liked, but according to many in the know, when the yield is light, the quality is high. Daniel Pate of Apical Texas had told us earlier to look for an outstanding vintage in this very light year.
A few factors entered into creating this light yield year that most vineyard owners are seeing. One was the early frost last October that did so much damage to vines that were still somewhat in production mode and not ready to withstand that early cold temperature. This was compounded by the really high temperatures last August. According to Ty Wilmeth, co-owner of Diamante Doble Dos Vineyard, “Those high temps really shut the plants down and delayed harvest. That caused the plants to not be able to go into dormancy far enough ahead of the freeze.” Just like row crop farming, there is always something to contend with.
Nevertheless, Castano Prado harvested their Albarinos early on Friday morning and the grapes then headed off to McPherson Cellars in Lubbock to be processed. Tere, Tom and Linda are anxiously awaiting word on the quality of this year’s grapes, as well as the tonnage.
There are several vineyards that have begun harvesting already and we certainly wish them well. After all, we are the Grape Capital of Texas!