grape harvesting

grape harvesting

Weather conditions permitting, the harvest should be carried out when the grapes are perfectly ripe. This may vary from one variety to another: for example, Cabernet grapes are ripe 10-15 days after Sangiovese. When harvested the grapes should have a good balance between acidity, which makes the wine fresh-tasting, and sugars, which will turn into alcohol. The right level of ripeness also means the grapes have high levels of polyphenols, allowing the wine to be aged in wood. Before removing the bunches form the vine, we must make sure the grapes are in perfect condition: perfectly ripe and healthy with no mould or any other defects. Damaged grapes might spoil the other grapes in the cases, and the quality of the wine would be affected. The grapes are harvested by hand, cutting the bunches one by one, without ruining the grapes or the branch to which the bunch is attached. The bunches are laid in perforated cases so that if any grapes are squashed and lose their liquid, it will drain out instead of fermenting. The grapes are then taken from the vineyard to the winery, which must take place quickly since harvesting takes place at a warm time of year and the heat might start up fermentation earlier than expected. To make good wines, fermentation must begin after the grapes have been crushed. Also, once the cases are on the trailer, the trip from the vineyard to the cellar must be smooth, avoiding holes in the road, since the grapes are fragile and can easily be damaged by bouncing about in the cases, in which case they will be unsuitable for making into good wine.