Harvest 2023

“Harvest” is defined as “the reaping or gathering of a crop or a season’s yield of any natural product”. It is an exciting time that annually occurs at most farms usually in the fall.

It is the culmination or climax of the annual cycle generated by the perfect coalescing of energies throughout the growing season – energy from the sun and rain, the nutrients from the earth, and the farmer’s labour.  This energy is all concentrated in the grape berries that are delivered to the wineries and the hands of wine makers to be crafted into the beautiful wines that we all enjoy.  There is also a sense of relief knowing that a season’s work has been completed successfully and that a window of rest may follow.

Harvest is a tangible, physical experience that requires some preparatory activity in the vineyard and on “the day of” - coordination of weather, equipment, and labour at the farm, as well as preparatory work at the winery to receive the in-bound fruit.  In addition, there is an emotional experience and deep sense of satisfaction in having overcome the challenges of weather, pestilence and other risks, and knowing that the fruit is one step closer to its destination in the bottle.  

While many people have never directly experienced a harvest, society celebrates the event through festivals and the holiday of thanksgiving.  There is a general understanding and recognition that the harvest is good thing as our basic need for food is assured.  A bountiful harvest means no shortages, less anxiety and prosperity for all.

At Kirby Vineyards, harvest is a progressive activity that can commence as early as the first week in September and last well into November. Varieties earmarked for sparkling wines, requiring less sugar and higher acidity are typically harvested first.  Chronologically white and thin-skinned reds for still wines are next, with the thicker-skinned Rhone and Bordeaux styled reds being last. For the 2023 vintage Kirby Vineyards had 3 harvest dates – October 12 (Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay), October 18 (Gamay Noir), and October 25 (Merlot).  Unlike 2022 when Kirby Estate harvested pinot blanc for a traditional method sparkling wine, the 2023 vintage pinot blanc harvest will be made into a still, cru-expression of the grape. We can’t wait to taste it.

Harvest is a stark reminder that all wealth comes from the earth.  Its all about capturing energy given by God through natural resources whether they be crops, metals and minerals, or other sea or land resources such as fishing or forestry.  The harvest of these resources beyond personal requirements or need (subsistence) is categorized as surplus (wealth).  It is the surplus with which our society is blessed, as it represents the generation of wealth that can be shared by all.