Our process at Fresh Tracks Farm follows a cyclical pattern throughout the year. We’re always wonderfully busy, but most importantly – we enjoy the diversity of our work life.
In the Winter, while the vines lay dormant, we reflect on the past season and plan for the next. It’s the perfect time for maintaining equipment and reviewing ways in which we might improve our efficiency. Life in the winery is busy, too. Barrels are emptied and refilled, wines are blended and refined, and plans are put in place to assure that we’ll have enough tank space for the new vintages. Up on the farm, we tap maple trees, stack wood, and – just as the winter starts to thaw – we make our way out into the vineyards to prune back the grapevines.
In early Spring, while hidden away from the muddy roads and chilly winds of a fading winter, we bring buckets and buckets of sap down to our roundhouse for boiling in our wood-fired arch. Not only will we produce deliciously sweet maple syrup, but we also produce a concentrated batch for our signature maple wine. Soon after, when the warmth of April and May waft across the state, tender buds start to appear on our grapevines. We witness our vintage come to life in the form of flower clusters, tucked inside the newly emerging shoots. There’s a lot of compost-spreading and the collection of vine clippings also to be done.
Summer is spent combing, tying, and adjusting the vines so that the fruit stays evenly exposed to the sun. We bottle new vintages, taste different blends, and tend to our gardens and flowers up on the farm. In the tasting room, we sample out wines, educate guests about our many varieties, and provide fun and engaging events for all to enjoy.
In the Fall, is harvest. A period of three to six weeks where we traipse across every inch of our vineyards, snipping bunches of grapes away from the vine, loading them onto a tractor, and crushing them into juice down in the winery. Our winemakers immediately begin transferring the juices into various individual tanks, while everyone else continues to collect the remaining grapes. It is easily one of the busiest times of year for us, but there the feeling of satisfaction we get once the harvest is complete makes all the hot, tiring afternoons worth it.