Autumn is upon us and, like every year, the period of harvest. If you are a beginner, here you will find all the advice you are looking for.
Thereharvestand thegrape harvestintended for the production of wine. Harvesting is never a monotonous activity: each bunch has a different position and requires specific attention.
Some curiosities about the wordharvest?
Only we Italians have this term! Neither the French nor the English can boast a specific word that indicates the grape harvest. How do you say harvest in english? Wine grapes Harvest (harvesting of wine grapes) and harvesting is called harvesting of wine grapes.
When to harvest grapes for the harvest
Many people mistakenly believe that with the term "harvest"Or the verb"harvest "both the harvest and the grape production are identified. In reality, "harvesting" means "harvesting grapes". If theharvestrefers to the grape harvest, the term "winemaking"Refers to the transformation of grapes into wine.
Etymology of the term
From Latinvindemic, comp. of vinum "wine" and demere "levare".
Theharvest periodvaries according to the geographical area: here in Italy it falls in autumn, generally in October. Throughout the northern hemisphere, theharvestit is done between July and October.
The right time forharvestit can be understood by observing the bunches of grapes: the berries must appear sugary and must have a good relationship between acids and sugars, based on the type of wine to be produced.
The timing of the grape harvest is crucial: better control the weather conditions such as an imminent frost, hail and unusual temperatures. It is possible to bring forward the grape harvest date to avoid particularly difficult conditions or the onset of diseases such as downy mildew or gray mold.
Please note: generally theharvest of white grapes(because it ripens first) and then red grapes (or black grapes).
To get onebest harvestother factors are controlled such as:
- It is avoided to harvest on humid days. Wet grapes can affect the quality of the wine.
- The hottest hours of the day are avoided as a too hot grape can trigger an early fermentation.
- We avoid harvesting in the early morning, when the grapes are still wet with dew.
Once harvested, the grapes must be immediately transported to the cellar to avoid oxidation of the juice, the action of tyrosinase and laccase, fermentation or maceration of the crop.
How to make the harvest
Thereharvestit is done with:
- manual harvest
- mechanical harvest (with a grape harvester)
Manual harvesting is active in small wine producing companies or in companies that offer high quality wines and sparkling wines. The reason? Only manual harvesting can guarantee the maximum integrity of each acid.
The machines can harvest but not cross vineyards on unsuitable grounds, in too narrow rows… in fact, grape harvesters are used only in large companies.
Typically, thecollectedmanual takes place in groups. A team of "operators" collects the grapes and first puts them in plastic crates (once wicker baskets were used) and then empties the contents into large metal containers placed on the transport trolley.
A crate of grapes, depending on the type, weighs 15 or 30 kg. Standard 45 kg crates are generally used for the production of Champagna.
Mechanical harvesting with thegrape harvesterit is certainly cheaper. It is used only when the harvest is not selective: in fact operators can discriminate a good bunch from a bunch that is now on the way to rotting!
The machines mix the clusters in the various stages of ripeness, they also collect the damaged grapes with obvious consequences on the quality of the wine obtained.
How to harvest
Formake the harvestthe bucket or box used must be full but not very full: the berries must not crush before their time!
Theremanual harvestis the best solution: operators can exclude grapes that are still unripe, those that are moldy and those that are damaged.
At the end of the harvest, when the towing is loaded, it is transferred to the cellar in the shortest possible time. In the cellar, the grapes will be weighed, evaluated (both for the sugar content of the must and for the visual characteristics) and sent to the fermentation barrels.