The grapes and growers of harvest 2022

A lot of behind-the-scenes work goes into crafting the perfect bottle of Carlos Creek wine. From start to finish, our team works hard and utilizes great care to ensure the exceptional quality that you’ve come to know and love. The planning, coordination, and effort put in to every harvest season is a big part of that. Learn more about our 2022 harvest season here at Carlos Creek Winery.

2022 growers

Every year we produce our own crop of grapes at Carlos Creek Winery, but we also work with a handful of other growers. We sourced our grapes from 11 other growers this year, in addition to our own crop. By and large growers are from Minnesota, with two coming from outside our home state.

Carlos Creek Winery harvest

The Minnesota growing season was off to a slow start. The cold spring weather was more drawn out and it had an impact on the grapes.

Grapes have 3 buds they can use in a season — primary, secondary and tertiary.

  • Primary: The go-to bud, it grows the best and produce the most fruit. 
  • Secondary: The bud that emerges if the primary dies, this one can have some fruit on it but usually only 1/2 of what the primary shoot has.
  • Tertiary: The vines’ last thread of survival, it never carries fruit but will emerge if the primary and secondary shoots don’t.

This year at CCW, the vines came out of their dormancy later than usual and we saw all secondary and tertiary shoots emerge. Therefore, like many other growers around the state, we didn’t get as much fruit from our vineyard as we hoped. 

However the rest of our summer and fall were almost perfect for ripening fruit. We went into the harvest in a mild drought and the heat helped the vines produce all the flavor and aroma the wines needed, and with plenty of sugar accumulation. One thing that stood out this year from others was that there definitely was no shortage of sugar. Although the overall volume of Minnesota grapes was down, what we harvested is excellent! 

Other growers

Markus Wine Co.

Markus Niggli, of Markus Wine Co., is a Lodi, California grower. 
  • Location: Lodi, California.
  • Grapes: Chardonnay, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Barbera, Zinfandel
  • Sent the very first harvested grape our way for the year – Chardonnay! Their harvest began 8/29/2022.

Brian and Mary Krawiecki

  • Location: Cliterhall, MN
  • Grapes: Itasca

Darrel and Ruth Dirckx

  • Location: Cottonwood, MN
  • Grapes: Frontenac Gris
  • One of our longest partnerships
Kevin Fluhrer stands next to a grape delivery at Carlos Creek Winery.

Kevin Fluhrer

  • Location: Hector, MN
  • Grapes:  Marquette, Frontenac, Frontenac Blanc, Itasca

Brad and Kari Skatter

  • Location: Mitchell, MN
  • Grapes: Brianna
  • One of our longest partnerships

Thane Wells

  • Location: Clear Lake, SD
  • Grapes: Marquette, Frontenac, Frontenac Gris
Thane Wells (right), stands with friend Ben Smith (left), during a grape delivery to Carlos Creek Winery.

Matt Greteman

  • Location: Caroll, IA
  • Grapes:  Petite Amie, LaCrescent

Bill Semelka

  • Location: Lake Erie, PA
  • Grapes: Itasca

Ann River Winery

  • Location: Mora, MN
  • Grapes: Frontenac, Frontenac Gris, and Brianna

What’s next

Now that all of our grapes for 2022 have been processed, the work of winemaking continues. Here are the 2022 totals so far:

  • Total pounds of grapes crushed: 180,754 pounds
  • Total pounds of Minnesota grapes: 134,940 pounds
  • Total pounds of grapes from other states: 45,814 pounds
  • Total gallons fermented (so far): 19,600 gallons 

After a full and busy harvest season, we’re getting excited to taste the 2022 vintage!

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok to keep up with the latest at Carlos Creek Winery. Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter to get the inside scoop!

Want to learn more about work in the vinyeard? Check out our posts on weather and pruning. And head over to our post on barrel aging for more behind the scenes on winemaking!

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Kaiya Johnson

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