Written by Estelle Dupuy –In mid August, we did some tests in the Doukenie vineyard. Sébastien and I did representative samples of Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling grapes. Then we crushed the berries to make juice in order to estimate the sugar concentration with the help of a refractometer. We put some drops in the refractometer and read the results: 16° Brix (Bx) for the Sauvignon Blanc, 14.2° Bx for the Riesling. (Note: One degree Brix is 1 gram of sucrose in 100 grams of solution.) The ideal number is to reach 20 brix, so the grapes need more time to complete their ripeness. We also did a pH test which gave us 2.85 for both. It’s rather low, on average we wish to get to a pH of 3.4. In the vineyard where we picked these grapes, harvest will not begin for another week or so if the weather continues to be cool.

The recent hot weather is ripening the berries quickly. Every 2 days we check the same parameters on the grapes: Brix, pH, total acidity in order to plan the harvest. Last week, we went to Luigi’s vineyard in Fredericksburg, Virginia. There is a good evolution of the sugar, besides the Chardonnay and the Merlot are particularly beautiful! Quite a few animials (deer, raccoon, bird) are interested in these grapes. We are going to pick the grapes really soon. This week, we will pick the Viognier, then the Pinot Grigio on Monday to continue with the Sauvignon Blanc on Tuesday. These Virgnia wines are almost ready.