Have you ever wondered what takes place during the grape harvest? Here’s a brief rundown on what we’re doing right now and why this is such a fun time to come and visit the Livermore Valley!
September starts the process: The grape harvest in Livermore Valley traditionally starts this month and runs through October, bringing with it weeks of frenzied activity as we rush to bring the grapes into the cellar. Once we’ve determined – through testing and tasting – that a particular block of grapes is perfectly ripe, our crews will hit the vineyards before daybreak to harvest the grapes while they’re still cool. The just-picked grapes are then rushed to the cellar where staff are waiting to crush them and begin the fermentation process.
Harvest hustle and bustle: Though our white grapes ripen first, followed by our light reds and then our more full-bodied reds, the fact that the ripening of all the grapes takes place within a relatively short period of time means that our staff must work very long hours during harvest. Often they’re on site before dawn and not home until well after dark. That’s one of the reasons why the spouses of vineyard and cellar crews are often called crush widows or widowers!
Celebrating the harvest: When the harvest finally wraps up, it’s a Livermore Valley tradition for wineries to host casual harvest parties to thank employees for their extraordinary efforts. These celebrations often feature hearty barbecued fare and, of course, lots of great Livermore Valley wine. Our harvest celebrations also offer us a chance to toast the completion of another successful harvest! Slainte!