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The Wine-Making Process: Harvesting

THE WINE - MAKING PROCESS harvesting Climate, soil, and lay of the land Climate is the one of the most important influences on grape- growing. They grow best in conditions with abundant sunshine, cool breezes and sufficient irrigation. Long, cold winters can cause the grapevines to die, and very humid conditions can cause diseases. Too much rain can also threaten the proper ripening of the grapes. Grapes grow best on slopes for optimal sun exposure. The soil should allow drainage so the vine roots are not saturated in water. Grapes are supported by training or trellising to keep them off the ground. Ripeness 20° C Some winemakers use a refractometer to measure sugar levels and the titratable acidity of the grape. By adding several drops of the grape's juice against a glass plate and looking through the eyepiece toward the sun, you can view the reading of sugar percentage (measured in Brix). 30 30 Winemakers use the sugar and acid levels of the grape to determine its ripeness. 25 25 20 20 15 15 10 10 Botrytis cinerea is the condition known as "noble rot". This is a mold that grows on certain grapes that brings out concentrated natural sweetness. Brix % Picking Starting in the 1960's, the mechanical harvester became a widespread method of harvesting grapes. This efficient and low cost option works by beating the vine with rubber sticks causing the grapes to fall into a conveyor belt that carries them to a holding bin. Some winemakers choose to hand pick their grapes. This has the advantage of the worker consciously only picking healthy grapes, but the disadvantage of costing quite a bit more than mechanical harvesting. A Mechanical harvesting crew of 5 can harvest 10 - 20 acres a day. Mechanical harvesting costs $65 - $85 a ton. Four hand harvesters can pick about one acre of grapes a day. Hand harvesting costs $125 - $150 a ton. Sorting and Crushing The grapes are dropped onto the sorting table where they are slowly pushed through a conveyor belt where workers manually sort them. Leaves, stems, and unhealthy grapes are removed by hand. The grapes are then transferred to the crusher and destemmer. Stems and skins can be used for grappa, and other materials recycled for fertilizer. Now the grapes are ready for fermentation! snooth find better wines

The Wine-Making Process: Harvesting

shared by heath1224 on Dec 07
A step-by-step guide to wine harvesting.


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