09 Sep THE GRAPE HARVEST
What is the grape harvest? As the compound name indicates, it is to collect the grapes at their optimum moment of maturity.
The origins of the grape harvest go back to the origin of the wine itself. This thousand-year-old tradition comes from ancient Egypt, more than 5,000 years ago, where they already took into account some factors and techniques that are used today that determine the quality of the wine. For the Egyptians it was a cultural, religious and social event that, throughout the harvest period, celebrated the harvest and thanked the God Osiris through offerings.
What processes does a winery carry out to carry out a perfect grape harvest and achieve a quality wine?
The first step is to exhaustively control the vineyards, study their health and determine the perfect moment for the beginning of the harvest. Once the set date has arrived, the grapes are harvested, either manually or mechanically, with great care so as not to damage the fruit and arrive in the best possible conditions at the winery. Subsequently, the grapes go through a meticulous control and the grapes are separated from the clusters and their leaves, a task known as destemming of the grape. And finally, we proceed to crush the grapes, which can also be done with mechanical or traditional way, placing the grapes in the Lagar and crushing the grapes until the juice is obtained.
Without grape harvest there isn’t wine. The grape harvest is one of the most important processes in the production of wine, cava and / or champagne, in which winegrowers and oenologists examine the maturation of the grape through random samples by plots during the months of August and September, observing the concentration of sugar and acidity of the grape. These controls will determine the ideal moment to start the harvest, the characteristics and quality of the wine that it will be able to achieve.
The grape harvest period is usually between the months of August and October, but what determines the harvest is the degree of maturation and quality of the grape. The optimal moment can vary due to several factors, such as the type of grape (white grapes ripen before red ones), grapes in vineyards facing south mature before those exposed to the north, the altitude of the vineyard or weather conditions, anticipating the vintage if it has been a dry season or delaying it if it has been very rainy.
In Abrassame we have a wide and careful list of wines and cavas and each winery has different peculiarities to carry out the harvest, such as Josep Masachs Cavas, that to make our cavas Artesanal Masia Salat Brut Nature and Louis de Vernier, they use three different types of grapes, Macabeo, Xarello and Parellada. They are three white grapes, but each grape has its optimum moment of maturation, starting with the Macabeo, which normally begins in early September, continuing with the Xarello until the end of September or early October and ending with the Parellada, which can finish the harvest by the end of October.
Another unique winery is the Winery Luis Cañas that produces wines of the highest quality, in fact, they have won countless recognized awards, both national and international, confirming the character of their wines. Among its references, one stands out, Hiru 3, because of the grape harvest to achieve the structure, complexity and balance of the perfect wine. It consists of selecting the grapes from the best strains, of which three or fewer bunches naturally produce and are older than 60 years. Hence the name Hiru, which means three in Basque.
If you are looking for a perfect plan to end the summer, don’t hesitate to visit a winery during the grape harvest, it is a very gratifying experience to share the moment with them, soak up their philosophy of life and enjoy their creations. A super plan, either with family, friends and / or partner.