The Grape Harvest
The Optimal Moment
Towards the beginning of September the green leaves of the vine begin to darken and the grape is said to "surrender"; that is, it becomes soft and sweet. There is no set date to signal the start of the grape harvest given that it all depends upon the ripeness of the grape, which should be at least 10.5º Baumé (potential alcohol).
The beginning of the grape harvest is usually determined by a number of different factors: the vine-growers tending to harvest as early as possible to avoid the possibility of untimely rains spoiling the grapes or even causing them to fall off the vine. Wine-makers, on the other hand, have more precise needs regarding the ripeness of the grape, degree of acidity and general health. Of equal importance are the logistical aspects of the harvest, as an operation of this magnitude requires the provision of a large scale socio-economic structure able to coordinate all the different aspects involved: foremen, cutters and carriers, drivers, bodega staff, etc...
the green leaves of the vine begin to darken and the grape is said to 'surrender'