Know more about the harvest
Grape is the main resource used for the wine elaboration, and as it is a fruit, it has to be collected. To this certain action, it is better known as harvest. Therefore, the harvest is the grape collect which will be key for wine making.
The harvest origins take place a thousand years ago, there are even vestiges of its beginning in the Neolithic era, when it seems it was started. In the same way, in Ancient Egypt they used to make the harvest in a pretty similar way as we do currently. Going through Greece, for example, the harvest has its recognition in Dionisos, God of Wine & Agriculture. And even so in the Ancient Rome, till these days.
In the northern hemisphere, more precisely in Spain, the harvest is developed between the months of July and October. Meanwhile, in the southern one, it takes place between February and April. Nevertheless, the final date of the harvest will depend on the maturation grade of grapes, among other factors. Next, we’re going to show off some of the most relevant ones:
- Maturation grade of the grape: depending on the sugar volume, and the fruit acidity, it will be estimated the best moment of collecting them, considering which type of wine is desired to be produced. The period of time lasts, more or less, 45 days.
- Geographic area & weather conditions: grapes maturation lasts longer in cold regions than in warm ones. Vineyard orientation, ocean proximity, height of the surface, etc. are other relevant factors that have to be considered in this point.
- Type of grape: each variety has its own maturation time. Generally, white grapes matures faster than the red ones.
- Type of wine to elaborate: depending on what type of wine is wanted to be produced, it will be considered also the levels of acidity, sugar, aromas, etc. that are desired for the wine.
- Logistics: Organization of the process and the workforce before the grape collect, so the harvest can be developed without any problem.
Once it has been determined the maturation and the collect date, the harvest takes place. It can be either by hand or by machines. Hand-made harvest is often used for high quality wines, because the bunches are collected in a more selective way. This process increases the production costs, and therefore, the price of the wines.
Meanwhile, the harvest made by machines just focuses on trellised crops, reducing costs and producing more economic wines. Besides, it can be also used for very big vineyards, in order to minimize the time between the collecting and squeezing processes, and with it, to obtain wines with higher quality.
To obtain an optimal harvest and high quality wines, it’s necessary to follow some specific steps, in order to achieve it:
- Develop a continuous control on vineyards, to assure an optimal evolution, and to bring the harvest in the best moment.
- Collecting grapes, by hand or machine.
- Quality control of the collected grapes, either in the vineyard or in selection tables.
- Grape destemmed = separate grapes from bunches
- Grapes squeeze, by machine or by traditional methods.