It’s Harvest Time Again

It’s that time of year again!  August, September and October are the busiest time for winemakers; it is prime time for the annual grape harvest for most wineries around the world.

Grapes increase in sugar levels the longer they are left on the vine. For this reason, sparkling wine grapes and white wine grapes are harvested first to ensure lower sugar levels.  Red wine grapes take longer to mature, so they are sent to crush next. Finally, ice wine grapes are harvested last and sent to crush.

There are two traditional methods wineries practice when getting grapes ready for crush, hand-harvesting, mechanical harvesting or sometimes a combination of the two.  Hand-harvesting allows more accurate selection and does a better job of protecting the grape’s juice content from eliminating damaged skins, which results in oxidation.

Mechanical harvesting is more efficient, especially for larger vineyards and usually more cost-effective.

The United States, Italy, France and Australia are a few countries among the many different countries that produce wine grapes.  A winter that is cool with good moisture, a moderate spring and a summer with temperate days and cool nights is ideal weather for growing grapes.

Weather has a remarkable impact on how the grapes grow, which greatly affects the quality of the wine. If you would like to learn more about grapes and wine be sure to check out Zin-Zig, our wine tasting trivia game that is a not only a great way to learn, but fun as well!

If you are interested in creating your own backyard winery, check out From Vines to Wines: The Complete Guide to Growing Grapes and Making Your Own Wine.  From breaking ground to savoring the finished product, Jeff Cox’s From Vines to Wines is the most complete and up-to-date guide to growing flawless grapes and making extraordinary wine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>