The 150th? Harvest of Grapes at Old Hill Ranch
I got to Bucklin’s Old Hill Ranch this morning around 7:50am. They were finishing up the harvest of this 150 year old, dry farmed, organic vineyard that was begun yesterday. I was the last to arrive. Will Bucklin, vineyard consultant Phil Cotturi and the harvest crew were already well into it.
This is one of the more difficult vineyards to harvest. It is comprised of about 75% Zinfandel vines with the other vines made up of 25 different varieties…all inter-spaced in a near random fashion between the zinfandel. Today and yesterday only the earlier ripening Zinfandel was being picked. This means the crew had to very quickly distinguish between a zinfandel vine and what might be an alicante bouschet, carignane, barbera or Petit Sirah vine right next to it.
In some cases you can tell what’s not Zinfandel because the grapes seem a tad less ripe. Or, the vine will look completely different. Or, you’ve got Will Bucklin there saying, "pick this…..don’t pick this."
Because this vineyard is so unique the pickers are paid by the hour, rather than by the pound because they simply can’t move as fast.
This is roughly the 150th harvest of this vineyard. The weather this morning was perfect for picking: cool and over case.
Following are shots of the harvest of zinfandel at Bucklin’s Old Hill Ranch.
IN THE BIN…
TO BE PICKED IN ANOTHER WEEK
SOME WEAR GLOVES, OTHERS LIVE WITH THE CUTS
PICK, DUMP SORT…..PICK, DUMP SORT…..REPEAT..
WILL BUCKLIN…SURVEYING THE CULMINATION OF A
LONG SEASON OF GROWING AND WORK