Harvest is the critical time between late-August and early-November when picking decisions are made. These time sensitive choices can make or break the quality of a vintage. As a winemaker it is important to draw on past experiences, knowledge, and instincts to navigate the hurdles that Mother Nature can present.
While on the vine, grapes are slowly building up sugars through photosynthesis, and losing acidity through Respiration. Once the decision has been made to pick the grapes you are essentially locked into the flavors and ripeness levels that are present. If picked too early you risk producing wines that display a lot of bitterness, tartness, and a strong character of herbaceousness (green, under-ripe fruit). Conversely, leaving the grapes on the vine too long can create a different set of problems: high alcohol wines that lack natural acidity and balance or have raisin or stewed fruit flavors. It is up to the winemaker to carefully determine where, in the spectrum of ripeness, they would like the grapes to be and therefore the style of wine they want to make.
Here are few factors that will influence the decision of when to pick…
Harvest is the time of the year that we live for. Each year presents new challenges, new opportunities and new excitement for making delicious wines!
Eric Mohseni – Winemaker
Posted on: Nov 3, 2011