It’s grape-harvest time…
September and October bring the breath of angels to the vines. The time has come to harvest the grapes that have been maturing in the summer sunshine. This is a vital period for winemakers, a time of stress and joy and for harvesting grapes in the best conditions.
The countdown has begun…
Learning how to “read” a grape – Gauging maturity
Like mediums with their crystal balls, winemakers try to analyse and decide on the best date to begin harvesting the grapes. They acquire a gift with experience and judgement.
A few weeks before the harvest, the grapes are analysed in detail to determine the levels of sugar and acidity, and are sometimes tasted by expert palates.
The winemakers bet on the optimum moment in the maturing process, while taking into account the weather forecast.
Adapting to nature – Harvesting the grapes
Once the date of the grape harvests has been decided, time is short and winemakers must count on the weather. Because water is the enemy of good wine… So watch out if it rains!
The choice of manual or mechanical harvesting depends on the conditions and the preference of the winemakers.
The grapes are precious and have to be carefully harvested and taken to the wine cellars as soon as possible so that the winemaking process can begin.
Celebrating the end of the grape harvest – A time for friends
The grape harvest is a strenuous but convivial task, especially at the end of the harvest, which is rounded off by a traditional meal, often featuring drinking songs!
The grapes are macerated or pressed according to the type of wine and left alone until the following spring to turn into wine. The vines also enjoy a rest period until December, when all the leaves have fallen, and they are pruned. And do the winemakers get to enjoy a rest, too?