Even though it seems it’s been a cooler summer than usual so far, we still have August and that can be a scorcher. The grapes are ready! They are already starting to turn and producing so many bunches, we’ve had to thin them. Last year, we dropped fifty percent of the fruit before harvest just to give the young vines a chance to toughen up. This year, we’ve done the same thing and you’d never know it. Once I get over the wonder of our harvest, I start to get intimidated by the prospect of getting it all picked and trucked down to the crush pad. Not to mention the tedious work of dropping them bunch by bunch into the crusher/destemmer. A job that falls to me. And even bunch by bunch, moving several tons of grapes is…well…as difficult as moving several tons of grapes.

But for now, in the early stages of ripening, I can just wander the vineyards marveling at the wonder of it all.

Look how fat and juicy these Cabernet grapes are:

Actually fat and juicy is not a good thing for wine grapes. Well be cutting off what little irrigation weve had to them so the juices can concentrate.

Actually “fat and juicy” is not a good thing for wine grapes. We’ll be cutting off what little irrigation we’ve had to them so the juices can concentrate.

Weve already dropped 50% of the fruit again this year to give the vines a little more strength to grow.

We’ve already “dropped” 50% of the fruit again this year to give the vines a little more strength to grow.

And aint no bad bugs on our grapes. The Insectarium is buzzing with beneficial birds, bees and bugs.

And ain’t no bad bugs on our grapes. The Insectarium is buzzing with beneficial birds, bees and bugs.

The goal of an Insectarium is year-round color. The late summer/early fall plants are already getting started.

The goal of an Insectarium is year-round color. The late summer/early fall plants are already getting started.

Meanwhile, Oscar has taken his eye off the ball. He’s supposed to be guarding the grapes against the “little foxes that spoil the vines”.

But his girlfriend, Sissy, dropped by and he had better things to do.

But his girlfriend, Sissy, dropped by and he had better things to do.

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