January (No. 492)
Attention to detail and open communication: keys to smooth harvest
Jan O’Connor , O’Connor Harvesting
With harvest approaching, particularly in warm-climate vineyards, attention turns to the planning and anticipated smooth-running, of harvest for another vintage year.
Grapegrower & Winemaker asked Jan O’Connor, proprietor and manager of contract harvesting company O’Connor Harvesting, for her perspective on the more important elements which should be discussed, when a grapegrower considers contracting the mechanical harvest of his or her vineyard.
My key message when employing a contractor to mechanically harvest your vineyard is simple: this is not a time for taking short-cuts. Attention to detail by both parties, the grower and the contractor, during the planning and discussion will save time, money and hassle, when harvest starts.
If you are about to hire a contractor for the first time, it is imperative that the contractor come to your vineyard to inspect your site. The contractor needs to see if your style of trellis, vine structure, topography and layout will be suitable, practical and safe for the mechanicalharvesting process. Different vineyards may be better suited to a certain type of machine, assuming the contractor has a choice of machinery, and this is another reason why a visual inspection is important.
NOTE: The complete article can be found in the January issue of The Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker.