The State of Our Grapes

It’s a striking, sunny morning at Big Cork Vineyards as vintner Dave Collins scans the rows and rows of lush grapevines. A red-tail hawk flaps its wings in the cloudless sky above. Dave pauses from passionately reporting the progress of BCV’s grapes to point out the raptor perches scattered throughout the vineyard. BCV placed them here so the birds could live and hunt in their natural habitat among the grapes. In turn, the birds help manage moles, ground hogs and other pests that cover crops can attract. 

This marks the vineyard’s third year in business — “if you did nothing right the first two years, this is when you’ll know,” Dave says of the grapes. But with more than 30 years of winemaking experience and countless awards under his belt, it’s hard to believe Dave’s grapes will yield anything short of excellence.

Currently, a rich blend of Nebbiolo, Chardonnay, Petit Verdot and other grapes line more than 24 acres, maturing gracefully as harvest rounds the corner. BCV expects to yield about 100 tons of grapes. Dave clutches a cluster of Petit Verdot. About six weeks shy of harvest, these grapes are still in the middle of the growing process. The grapes haven’t quite reached veraison — a process of ripening where the grapes change colors. Click on the video below to watch Dave discuss the veraison process.

Check back next week as Dave discusses a crucial step in producing Petit Verdot wine.


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