Harvest Time
September 1st, 2015
Peggy Fiandaca

The most exciting time at the winery is harvest time. You prepare all year and the pace is frantic to prepare the winery for the new vintage.

What that meant at LDV Winery was bottling the 2012 Signature Petite Sirah and 2012 Petite Sirah in order to make way for the wine production process.
  LDV Winery Harvest
Photo Credit: Food & Wine Lifestyles

Additionally, all of the equipment needed to be tuned and cleaned, barrels ordered and prepped, and constant vigil in the vineyard to determine the picking schedule.

As of September 1st, we have only harvested the Viognier. We dropped a tremendous amount of fruit during the growing season and we still harvested nearly six tons per acre. That is a lot of grapes.

Let’s refresh your knowledge of few harvest terms.

Brix: LDV Winery uses a refractometer to determine the sugar levels by measuring the brix or sugar to water ratio within the grape. This measurement, in combination with taste, visual appearance, and pH is used to determine when it is time to harvest.
Must: As soon as grapes reach the winery, they are put into the destemmer that removes the whole berries from the stems. The whole berries are pumped into the fermentation vessel. The grape juice mixture is called “must.”
Fermentation: Red wine grapes ferment in contact with the skins and pulp which give the wine its color, tannins, and flavor. After the initial processing, the must may be allowed to begin a natural fermentation process initiated by the native yeast (those occurring naturally on the grape skins and in the air at harvest times). Conversely, the winemaker may choose to inoculate with cultured yeast to begin the fermentation process. Different types of yeast will result in different characteristics in the finished wine.

To learn more about the harvest and winemaking process visit our website.

The Crush Pad Junkies (our crew that helps with harvest each year) love Peggy’s harvest burros after working the crush pad from before dawn. Recipe at this link. Enjoy them on a Sunday morning and think about all the hard work happening during harvest in wine country.

Help us celebrate by attending the Harvest Festival 2015 at the Wine Gallery on October 10th 11 to 7:00 PM. Register here; space limited: