When the grapes are fully ripened, it is finally time for vineyards to harvest— once again beginning the age-old wine making process. This is based on the sugar, acid, and tannin of the grapes—based on what wine the vineyard desires to make. Experienced vineyards can tell this by a quick study of their grapes, with the knowledge that harvesting season, for the North Hemisphere, falls between August and October.
It’s that time of year again.
For red wines, this means the darkly-toned grapes have peaked in their sugar levels and that it is time to start fermenting. For white wines, it is the green grapes—most often skinned before the mashing process that all wines undergo. All of the grapes in the autumn months are blushing fully, appearing as tiny gems against the lush green of their vines.
For places like Napa Valley, California—tourism is at an all-time high. People curious about harvesting flock to popular, large vineyards at the chance to watch the massive production that is gathering each and every grape off the vines where they’ve been growing all year. Vineyards offer up warnings for heavy crowds for the duration of September and October, with each region different slightly on what times are most full for them based on that year’s weather and the area’s climate. Vineyards beware of traffic for all of the fall months.
Who could not be curious about such a sight? The leaves are turning a deep green, some making the early shift to bright yellow. Machines and workers line the fields in rows. The weather has finally cooled off, and the humidity has just begun to bow its head.
Other places in the west, from the coast of Oregon or flatlands of Arizona, account for ninety percent of wine made in America. That is without the inclusion of places such as Idaho or Texas, neither of which being famous for wine—but which produces wonderful wines all the same. New York, Indiana, and Florida all host their own huge vineyards and wineries, all lesser known—meaning the same beauty of harvest season, without the crowds.
So, go enjoy wine season. Watch the harvest and enjoy a glass anywhere in the nation—Autumn is short, and the harvest is quick. Drink it up while it’s here. You can even live among the vineyards if you wanted, with retirement communities across the country waiting for you to come visit. Viniterra in Virginia; Trilogy at the Vineyards in California; River Landing in North Carolina; and Trilogy at Tehaleh and Shea Homes at Jubilee in Washington State. Where you drink wine could also be your home.