Bottling: In May 2008 we bottled the first Flying Otter wine. We had four experimental wines in our lab from our first harvest, and we are pleased with the results we are getting in our initial cautious tastings.
Filling Bottles: We have basic filling equipment that works fine for small amounts. There were one or two somewhat messy incidents as we mastered the learning curve of operating this aparatus, but once we got the hang of it things went pretty well.
Linda and Jeff, bottling crew.
Hail: In late June we came home from a vacation to find hail damage from a major storm that had hit while we were gone. Apparently the vineyard frog in the center came through in better shape than the grapes.
And these guys survived the hail, but eventually were evicted from the vineyard by Bob.
Frogs: This was the second frog we saw while cluster thinning. Cluster thinning was pretty sad this year, since the hail had done a thorough but non productive thinning for us.
We are hoping to get a partial harvest, but they are obviously cut back a lot.
Bob built a contraption for the trailer that would help us put up and take down the bird netting.
Uncle Kid and our neighbor Wayne got roped into helping us with the process.
Nets: This is taking the netting off. It took one person on each side of the row, one person in the trailer and Bob to drive the tractor.
This is Linda in the trailer, pulling the netting down and folding it into the bag.
Uncle Kid mans the boom that channels the bird netting.
Our neighbor Brandon helps pick the grapes.
Jeff can reach the high spots.
Sadly, the grapes were pretty pitiful after taking a beating from the hail.
Lauren has to reach for the high ones.
Harvest: Definitely not the lush harvest we had last year, but we did get some. If it's true what they say that grapes like to suffer, this is sure to make some very special wine.