Harvest time has come and gone. A unique season, like every other one. But again we were blessed with a phenomenal crop. The flavors so rich and so tempered by a season so harsh to others. The colors intense, like the love and labor that went into every pruning cut, every drop of irrigation water and every cluster selected for harvest. If the street rumors are correct, and if Texas only produced 1,000 tons wine grapes this year, we at Kiepersol have single-handedly produced 25% of the state's wine grape crop. It is hard to imagine. But it is easy to give the glory and honor to our rock and pillar - thank you Jesus.
With the recent warm temperatures we've seen a dramatic effect in the ripening of the red fruit. Look at this beauty! The clusters vines like this are almost the status quo this season at Kiepersol.
Everything has been a buzz at Kiepersol Estates for the past two months in anticipation of this seasons grape harvest. We have spent countless hours in the vineyard evaluating fruit and just as much time preparing equipment and getting supplies. Now the time has come for us to put all of our much researched winemaking strategies into play. The summer weather has been "different" to say the least. That being said, there have been some necessary adjustments and calls made on the fly. After all, the spontaneity is what makes the industry fun! Everyone has gone above and beyond what has been asked of them to make sure this year is another success for Kiepersol. We've just completed the harvesting of the 2013 Kiepersol white wine grape harvest and have a rare opportunity to catch a breath before we strap in for the red varieties! Yes this year's road to harvest has been tumultuous and brand new, but the rewards are always worth it in the end. So for now, ON WITH THE SHOW!
This truly is the most exciting and labor intensive time of year. The grape grower works all year beginning with pruning, then extra prayers in the spring, nurturing the vines, diligent maintenance, then begins the ripening. All of the sudden we all feel like farmers and want to be in the vineyard. It is amazing to see the beautiful fruit hanging from the vines. It doesn’t matter if you are 3 or 93 years old. Eating a grape from the vine fills your heart with grounding satisfaction. It is a pretty great time of year, and it only lasts about a month!
Who said winemaking was all science and art?
Mechanics play a huge role. We still consider our wines hand-crafted because every ounce of wine will pass by our eyes, but to your benefit we don’t stomp the grapes with our feet like they did in the old days. This machine has two nicknames: Lucy and Ethel. It does all the “stomping” and the KE guys have to sweet talk Lucy and Ethel before every harvest to ensure she'll run right.
Everyone in the Kiepersol community gets involved. This is a rare shot of some of our favorite behind the scenes people: Mark, Jerrie and Conche. Without them, most of what you see wouldn't be possible! They are true wizards and keep us running smoothly each harvest.
KLTV came out to check what the weather is doing for our pending harvest plans. "It's well on its way to be a great yield and a good production year for us," said Frans de Wet, the Viticulturist at Kiepersol Estates. Click below to see some more views of the vineyard in this video and interview by Laura Sadler.
KLTV Video Link
Gearing up for this year's harvest reminds us of the beauty of last year. This crop is going to be amazing!