After 5 years, the first two Assyrtiko vines from UC Davis have given us a mature crop. These vines take a lot of patience, but they’re perfect for our Monsoon climate. The clusters are full but the berries are separated and resist the humidity. The skins are tough and full of tannins that express the terroir. The other 25 Assyrtiko vines in a separate vineyard, also from Foundation Plant Services, are full of clusters and should produce some wine this year. Last year, we only had enough to make some grape jelly. We’re surprised at the length of time it takes for these grapes to ripen. As of August 12, they were only 17 degrees brix.
We harvested the Assyrtiko on Aug. 24 at 21 degrees brix. The juice tasted very sweet and the seeds dark brown. The shoots had already lignified. Pressed enough juice to make about 2 gallons of wine. Inoculated with QA 23 yeast and there was no activity until we reinoculated 4 days later and added Fermaid. Checked to make sure there weren’t too much sulfites in the juice. Tested 35 ppm. It took a couple more days to really start fermenting.
Next year, we’ll use a different yeast, probably EC 1118.
Looking forward to a healthy crop next year after the vines become more mature