Tuesday, April 18, 2017

2017 April 16

Shadbush is in bloom all over the country side.  This bloom is a heads up to get in gear.  There is no turning back now.  

Bud swell is here and bud break time is around the corner.  Some of the early varieties first to push are Foch, Baco, Chardonnay, Concord and Niagara and the wild grape.   Generally the Vignoles is later or last with bud push.  Tying may be done in an order not related to bud swell but due to a more expensive Vinifera variety and the fear of missing the time to tie without any damage.  I always hated to see a bud go flying while tying.   

Bud break is defined where the tips of the first leaf are visible.  Watch closely from that point.  Pretty in pink comes shortly after.  My favorite for a pretty in pink (young leaves just emerging) is the concord. 

The first varieties to push are going to be the more tender to damage from freezing temperatures.   

Fall Bright, as a juice plant and supply shop located in the middle of the vineyard, is closed.  I still have a fair amount of winemaking supply inventory in stock FOR SALE at 40% OFF in a near-by rental on Hyatt Hill.  Please email me at winemaking@fallbright.com or shop online at my secure cart at www.fallbright.com.  The shopping cart will take your credit cards.  The shop is not going to relocate. 

The vineyard on Hyatt Hill was sold to Morten Hallgren’s of Ravines Winery in Deceber of 2016.  Changes are already taking place. 

I still have 10 acres of grapes up here at MY new location on Dutch St. 
Up for sale for the 2017 harvest are Vignoles, Aurore, Chancellor, Foch, Leon Millot, Chelois and very limited DeChaunac.  The Concord by the house at 5443 Dutch St could be sold as U-PICK. 

I am still moving into the house on Dutch St and will have a sale of some furniture and lots other items, which I will list in another blog or on face book.
May your wines Fall Bright! 
5443 Dutch St, Dundee, NY 14837

Friday, September 16, 2016

September 16, 2016  Our harvest without  Tom Mitchell, 


We have created maps for breaker boxes and have marked switches and boxes with magic markers.  With 3 phase power overhead, our trusted electrician we have had through the years, gave us a tour and answered questions and more magic marks have been made.  Our refrigeration man has patiently explained our switches and temperature adjustment procedures and replaced the compressor to the larger walk-in cooler!  Wouldn’t you know!


We have started picking and pressing.  Pressing procedures were found in the manual, you read German(?), but with illustrations and Tom’s previous work list, including blow by blow pressing instructions, Joe has that down pat. 


Leon Millot are being picked September 16.  Foch is next, we need to test the next group of varieties.  Son Tom has been coming up after school to take field test.  Next serious test need to be taken in the Muscot Ottonel, Gew├╝rztraminer.  In order to have the spice and everything nice in these two varieties, they must pass a taste test, then the field test for pH, brix.  Life comes at you fast at this time of the year.


I had a ladder incident in late August and come home this weekend after a week in the hospital for iv antibiotic therapy.  Oral antibiotics for 10 days prior failed the task.  When people ask me how I am doing, I reply that I am hanging in there….


Megan and Corlin have shipped online supply orders.  Shipping may take an extra day.  Luci, who kept shop here for years is fishing for 2 weeks.  She is retired!  Hours at the shop will be extended soon, but you may still have to search for help.  My cell phone number is all around.  I can be hiding out back on the deck or in the cooler or bathroom!  I may be in the vineyard or in the house (downhill and across the road).  Walking will be good therapy. 


Thank you for your support and help.  May your wines fall bright!  Marcy


Monday, May 23, 2016

Dear Ben Hartman and Hans Walter Peterson, 

Thank you for coordinating volunteer pruners and sending emails seeking pruning on Tom Mitchell’s vineyard on Hyatt Hill, near Wayne. 

Ben took time out of his busy days at Deep Root Vineyard and Winery to prune at our vineyard along with Ian Barry from Barry Winery, and Bill and Suzanne Piat from Arkport, and Bill Hoagland from Penn Yan, who has pruned with Tom in the past in our vineyard.  Hans was sending out emails and another weekend we saw Keith Egresi from across the lake with 100 acres of his own put in some time pruning our vines along with Steve Learch (Geneva Experiment Station), Hans Walter Peterson, Gillian Trimber (Coop Ext) and Peter Frisch, winemaker and friend from Sidney, NY, and Bill Hoagland, Donna and Lou Gridley, Scott and Cindy Daum, Lou Ann from Watkins Glen, Mel Goldman from Keuka Vineyards and his vineyard manager, John Orsino.

On April 1, we had a crowd of about 30 pruners.  They started in the Riesling that Tom has on a trellis system he called Keuka Delta.  It is a low wire cordon with annual renewal if available.  Catch wires are supported by a triangular form on the post with the widest part at the bottom near the support wire. If the only good cane is the apical dominate cane, we leave that and tie it back toward the center of the plant on the lower catch wire.  In some years it can look like spur or cane pruning or an accident.  Paul Brock brought his students from the Ag course at CCC.  It must have been a challenge for them all.  Greg Taylor from Paul’s class asked his mother (Bully Hill) to provide lunch for all.  That was really appreciated!  Thank you!  Other pruners coming along that day were Mark Wiltberger, Lindsay Wickham, Hans Walter Petersons, Peter Frisch, Steve Learch, and Gilliam Trimber and there may have been more.  I started a list and gave up.  I know most of you but not all.  If you are not named here, I thank you also.

Your efforts have been greatly appreciate by me and my family.  Thank you all.

Here is an update for your information.  I had Matt Doyle’s crew prune the vineyards we have on Dutch St and they finished below the barn on Hyatt Hill.  The vinifera above the barn are being pruned by our man Joe Johnston who has been working for us for several years.  He has been hand pruning with Tom during the years we converted umbrella systems to high wire cordon.  This took several seasons.  The Chardonnay are a modified umbrella this year due to short canes.  He has tightened wires on both farms and he and my son, Tom, have been replacing end post and pounding post.  (And not in that order, but as permitted!)  Our son Tom is the Hammondsport Music teacher K-12 as well as a scout master.   

When it was too cold to tie (skipping rows that needed post work) Joe pruned and is still pruning.  Today April 28, he will switch to post pounding with Tom. 

It is not April anymore and time is flying.  Umbrella tying is almost finished, buds are pushing.  We are holding off on pruning the Pinot Noir and the Gamay Noir until we see green.  The cane length from last year’s growth is very short.  May 23, buds are out in Pinot, Gamay and Riesling with a nice set push.  Will need to prune the Pinot and Gamay and of course, the next challenge is the spray program. 

I have decided to run the juice plant this year, especially after an offer from Mayer’s Cider Mill to send his man down to help us mere mortals learn to run the press.  I know if I ask others in the area, I can get help.  We are all assuming there will be a grape crop this year in spite of this squirrelly spring, which cannot decide which way to go.  All of us can remember weather disasters in May and June!  God is here to give us strength to carry on and Mother Nature is still defying description. 

Thank you again for all your help! 

Marcy Mitchell and family, Tom, Megan and Corlin  (May 23, 2016!!)


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Still growing grapes

May 10, 2016
Most of the vineyard is pruned and tied.  I have not pruned the Pinot Noir and the Gamay Noir.

Trellis work is started and we are tieing in blocks that are ready.  Buds are out nicely in the Vignoles and Seyval.  The Riesling buds are starting to push. 

We had many volunteer pruners slaving away in our vineyard.  I have a long list at the house and of course, it is not up here. 

Shadbush was in bloom, so spring is here ready or not. 

I  will be running the juice plant this year, so please continue to make wines with us.  More later.  Marcy

Saturday, January 23, 2016

A tribute to Tom Mitchell

The service (December 5, 2015) for Tom Mitchell was very nice and special as the priest, Father Bob Miller, is one of our winemaker customers.  He told of Tom coming up to him when he was up getting his Riesling this year.  Tom talked to him about Adam, our grandson, going into the air force and Tom asked him to pray for Adam.  Tom was hard on Adam, was hard on his help, Bob’s comment softened some edges.  Adam is very sensitive.  We have had a lot of comments about the service, it was so special. 

 When Bob was at the house for breakfast the day of the service, we were all full, but I asked him if he wanted a taste of black cap jam, and he did.  Told him about Tom picking berries, they are wild now, all around and in ditches, you can find them if you know where to look.  I made jam.  When the kids were little they would pick enough berries for about 20 pints of jam.  We also had dandelion (petal) jelly to taste, we did not pick nor make that!  It was a gift.  Very sweet.   We told stories and he presented a very nice and personal tribute of Tom as a man. 

It had been a gloomy, rainy week with gray skies and no rain on Friday, but on Saturday, December 5th, the day of the services, the skies were blue and the sun was high.  It was almost a tribute in itself. 
At the reception, folks brought a bottle of wine for a toast to tom and told more stories.  I managed to come up with 70 wine glasses.  There was a lot of wine, I need to have a wine tasting or something again.   Dan, Corlin’s husband, went up and said he was visiting with Tom in the gun room and Dan asked him what his greatest thrill was.  Dan figured it would be a pheasant hunt or a big buck, or a big fish, but it was his kids and his wife, his family.  That was special to Dan and to us.  So now Dan has that with Corlin, 3-year-old Colt and Autumn, who is 14 and an honor student. 
Diane, our son’s wife, told of going into the Hammondsport flower shop to get flowers for her wedding and was asked who she was marrying and she said Tom Mitchell.  She was meant with a silence and Diane spelled it for the woman.  She finally came to that it was TG and not Tom Mitchell.  That was Diane’s introduction to TG, as TG was known as Tom in school. 

Megan, our oldest daughter, had a young friend of our grandson, David, video the service and she, Megan, wandered around the reception with the camera and has created a DVD. 

TG’s boy scouts and parents manned the reception and food at the fire hall.  It was special to these scouts as we had a photo of Tom in a scout uniform and TG in his uniform as a child plus the entire troop.  I got up and thanked them, they had it all under control. 

Phyllis Bauer and Melissa Hartman manned the wine counter.  Phyllis is one of the Women for NY Wine and a widow of a grape grower.   Melissa and her husband, Ben, have a winery on the west side of Keuka Lake, Deep Root Vineyard.  They sell a lot of their wines at shows and travel to markets.  She told Ben that she was not going to Corning that day. 

The following week the Hammondsport assistant fire chief died at the age of 38, an aneurysm.  So the little town of Hammondsport has had its share this month.  TG’s K-3rd grade musical play was postponed for Tom and then again for the fire chief.  He will have it on December 23.  I went down last night to his junior-senior high concert.  Brian, his youngest son (13) played on the drums to a couple of the numbers.  It was very nice.  TG looked very tired.  I hope he can get some rest, but we are all waking up at dumb times. 

Megan and Corlin came down today, December 12, with small children for a cookie party at TG and Diane’s place in Bath and to see Santa in the park in Hammondsport.  TG came up to the farm and sat in Tom’s tree stand.  He was not ready for a party, but little children are.   

 We have appreciated everyone’s support and help to get us through this time. 
Take care and have a happy holiday.

 (Christmas seems like it was forever ago and just yesterday!  Marcy)

Friday, January 8, 2016

Hello winemakers, 
Tom passed away at home unexpectedly, December 1, 2015.

We were hoping to sell the farm, so he could retire.  Not to be.  The farm on Hyatt Hill is still for sale, the house is not.

The farm on Dutch Street can be for sale, but it is not listed right now. 

I am still filling online orders and mailing or shipping daily.  IF I do not answer the phone, please leave a message, as I do not always hear it ring!  Thank you for your consideration and support.  We have appreciated all the cards, gifts and support given at this time.  May your wines fall bright.


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Shop at www.fallbright.com

The link for www.fallbright.com goes directly to the shopping cart!    Instructions are with most products on the shopping site, so click away.  If you have bookmarked our site, refresh it!

You will need to change the email for us to fallbright@frontier.com 

I was not able to forward winemaking@fallbright.com to the new address and will be working on this.  Tom says I get myself in to more trouble than I bargain on and it is true.... 

Information is also on www.101winemaking.com