The vine is the plant that produces the grapes, the fruit from which the wine is obtained, but many steps are needed to transform the grapes into the wine that we can taste at home. In this article we explore the first of these passages, the oldest one: the harvest.

The term harvest is the process of harvesting the grapes used for wine production.
It is the beginning of everything but at the same time it is the end of the year for the winemakers: it is the moment in which we must be careful not to ruin the work done in the vineyard between winter and spring. 

During the year the vine is cured, pruned and followed in its growth so that it gives a healthy and good fruit. As our winemakers tell us,

"the wine is made in the vineyard, not in the cellar. From quality grapes, quality wine is born".
Any good winemaker

The harvest period is usually between late August and late October. Grapes should be harvested when ripe, depending on the type of wine to be produced.
As the ripening approaches, the sugars in the grapes increase and the acids decrease, which is why for the grapes used to make white wines, especially if destined for sparkling wine, we will proceed to an early harvest towards the end of August because these wines have as main characteristics a marked acidity.
The grapes left to mature a little longer give life to more full-bodied and structured wines. To produce sweet wines, instead, we will try to get grapes rich in sugars and we will proceed with a late harvest.

The harvest period is influenced by many other factors: climatic conditions, production area, type of grape. The topic is intentionally simplified in respect of our mission "Keep wine simple". For those wishing to learn more → Link

There are currently two types of harvest:

Mechanics - harvest carried out using special grape harvesting machines that shake the plant causing the bunches to fall.

Manual - the grapes are cut and deprived of the leaves with appropriate scissors and placed in small boxes.

The manual harvest has much higher costs and times but guarantees a higher quality work, since it is possible to make a first selection in the vineyard of the best grapes, free of mold and defects.

In both cases the grapes are then taken to the cellar to proceed with the subsequent stages of winemaking, which we will discuss in a future article.