Monday, October 27, 2014

Halloween at Cassel Vineyards

      By now you probably know that we have been busy growing a pumpkin patch, giving hayrides and conducting pumpkin painting classes on Wed. nights in the vineyards.  It has been an extremely productive year and our efforts are once again paying off in big ways.  Not only are our vine, both grape and pumpkin, producing huge amounts of fruit, but our customers are showing their support through their purchasing and event attendance.  We have sold out of 3 varieties of wine on our tastind card and hope to nearly make it through the holiday season with 4 other varieties.  
      This past weekend we showcased some of the pumpkin art that our customers and guests have contributed to the winery for the Cornucopia Wine Country Quest.  We enjoyed more than 400 guests on the first weekend and everyone seemed to enjoy the seasonal theme and the wines.  If you didn't make it last week, we will have one more batch of pumpkins this weekend for our customers to vote on.  Thank you to everyone who contributed to the success of our first week of the Cornucopia Quest.

Last Load of Harvest 2014

      We just finished picking the last 2 tons of Chambourcin on Sunday, October 26 at 2:00 in the afternoon.  What a relief to now have our 32 tons of grapes in tanks and aging for the upcoming 2015 year.  Our 2014 vintage was late ripening but the slow, cool summer temperatures really gave us some nice full flavored fruit.  Compared to last year when we had the hot dry August - October, this years cool dry maturation led to fresher, fruitier grapes with less of the ripe, jam and deep ripe flavors.  
     The harvest also exceeded our expectations for quantity producing 32 tons. Last year we struggled to pick and process 24 tons.  This year we will need some larger tanks!  All I can say is thank you to everyone who helped.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Sunset on the Pumpkin Patch

The last weekend for pumpkin patch hayrides @Cassel Vineyards of Hershey.  The Halloween holiday is almost upon us.  We are nearly done with our harvest and look forward to a weekend of R&R.

Monday, October 20, 2014

First Frost of 2014

     The temperatures last night got down to 34 degrees and as you can see we got a killing frost for the first time this year.  The cold weather and frost pooled in the low areas which included the concord vines at the bottom of the hill.  We definitely planted these early, American varietals in the right place.  Unlike the Cab Franc which are on the hill behind the Concords which still need a little more time, the Concords can afford to lose their leaves and go dormant.  We definitely need a few more days on our Cab which we will finish picking this Friday between 3:30 and 7:00.  With only 5 more half rows to pick, the job should be done before the football game.  Our work is cut out for us, but it feels good because the end is in sight.  The weather is trying to help us along as we hurry to put our finest grapes in the tank.  When we finish I guarantee that you want to be here for our party.  We are going to celebrate the season and the fruits of our labors.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Cab Franc Harvest Nearly Complete

     This weekend we started our Cab. Franc harvest with several goals in mind.  We wanted to get our grapes in the tanks but we wanted to split our harvest in two parts.  Next season we hope to offer two new wines both from our Cab. Franc.  We also plan to use the usual amount of that varietal for our blends that our customers have come to appreciate.  The perfect Summer growing season and warm fall weather have combined to give us a bountiful harvest and amazing production.  We hope you like all the new wines this amazing summer allowed us to grow.  Only one more harvest weekend left if things go as planned.  We will pick the last third of our Cab. Franc this Fri. and then pick our Chambourcin this Sunday.  If you want to lend a hand this is the weekend to do it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Two Weeks Left

         There are only 2 weeks left in our 2014 Harvest and only two more weeks to ride the hayride to the pumpkin patch.  Right now we have finished the white harvest and now we are on to the reds.
While we harvest our Cab. Franc this weekend, the hayrides to the pumpkin patch will be leaving ever hour between 12 and 6:00 on Friday and Saturdy.  Next weekend while we harvest the Chambourcin, the hayrides will also be taking place for one final weekend before Halloween.  It should be a great time.  hope you can make it out either to help pick or to take a ride on the hayride to the pumpkin patch.


Monday, October 13, 2014

Half Way Done with Harvest 2014

     After a Friday/SaturdaySunday picking marathon, we have our Vidal Blanc safely crushed, Pressed and in the primary fermentation tanks.  We had a lot of help getting things set up and can't thank our workers and friends enough for all the work you helped us ge done.  With 5/6 th of the Vidal Blanc juice fermenting, we have almost 700 gallons to use for next years vintages. The weather has cooperated to make this year's white wines as good as any we have harvested so far.  Last year the grapes were more marure a and sugar levels were just a touch higher because of. The late summer/fall heat and sunshine.  This year was cooler and more moderate in temperature which allowed our cool weather grapes (whites) to develop more unique flavores and balance.  We plan to keep alcohol levels just a little lower to highlight the fruit flavores while we balance out the acidity and lower pH.  These whites and Rose' including our Chardonnay, Vidal Blanc and Concord Rose' should be some of our best ever.  We are also looking to make a Cabernet Franc Rose' that may be a unique best seller.  
   Next weekend, we start harvesting our red wines.  It should be interesting to. See how those final numbers hold out.  We expect a lot moe of the same high quality, so come on out and see for yourself.