In addition to the hard work, which is performed manually in the very hot sun of June and July, there is another serious problem, i.e. the weather conditions until the harvest.
Rainfalls during the blossoming can lower the production quantity by a high percentage; chilly temperatures in August and September cause a later and poorer ripening; too much rain in summer fosters the development of mildew on the vine…
Nevertheless, the biggest risk is hail: in a few minutes, a hailstorm can destroy the entire crop.
After several checks that start with the colour change of the grapes and continue until the ripening (considering several parameters, such as sugar and acidity), the best date for the beginning of the harvest is established.
The harvest is made by hand, and the grapes are collected in small perforated crates.
This way, juice formed by the crushing of some softer berries can flow away. This juice could start risky and uncontrolled fermentation processes in the crates, it often occurs with mechanical harvest.
The harvest is the most satisfying moment for the vine grower: finally, the fruit of his hard work can be picked.
At the same time, it is one of the most critical periods for the oenologist, since the very first steps of wine making will be essential for the final quality of wine: aromas and balance for white wines, colour and body for red wines.
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