The countries are in turmoil. You feel that there is waiting in the air, there is a go of tractors for a while all the parts. The 2018 harvest is coming. Preparations begin, with the washing of the barrels to accommodate the new must, the preparation of the receptacles to collect the grapes, the assumption with fixed time of labour or the preparation of the mechanical harvesters.
The first to be collected in our company will be the white grapes Chardonnay, Cortese, Moscato, Arneis, whose maturation is precocious: end of August-beginning of September.
for a region prevalently planted with reds like Piedmont, these few days of harvest are just a prelude to the real harvest, which will begin after a fortnight. The first red to be harvested is the Dolcetto, whose genetic characteristics lead to maturation before the others, pain the leaking of the grapes on the ground and the loss of the harvest. Then follow in sequence Grignolino, Barbera, Bonarda, Freisa and Nebbiolo, whose name (which derives from “fog”) alludes in fact to the first mists of autumn.
In This period that separates us from the harvest, the grapes have now turned color, they have completed the Veraature (see previous article, “The Cycle of the Vine”), and prepare to complete the last stages of maturation, which involves the following Changes:
- Weight gain of the grape
- Water reduction
- Accumulation of sugars (glucose and fructose).
- Decreased acidity (malic acid)
- Variation, refinement of aromatic substances that determine the scent of grapes.
- Loss of consistency of the berries, softening pulp.
All these paraMeters are accurately measured and monitored by an experienced eye, so collect the grapes in their optimal maturation point. Obviously not all row always smooth… in fact they can put in half rains and therefore mud, excessive humidity with the risk of developing mold; Or on the contrary heat too strong, and immediately after also hailstorms. This is nature, and you have to adapt. For these reasons, wine is not equal every year… every year is as if it were a world of its own!
Despite everything, the harvest is always the most anticipated period of the year, both for the atmosphere of cheerfulness that is created between the harvesters, and the culmination of the hard work done during the year, all aimed at this magical moment.