Colourful, collectible and straight to the point, our handy A-Z postcards can be viewed and downloaded here, just click on a letter. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like printed copies.
The single most critical aspect of the harvest (also known as ‘vintage’, or ‘crush’ in much of the New World) is timing. Pick too early, and you end up with green wines; pick too late, and you get a raisiny character that destroys the perfumes of the variety. Grape sampling and chemical analysis help to predict the point when physiological ripeness coincides with optimal sugar accumulation, but fruit in different parts of a single vineyard may vary in ripeness and need to be harvested over several days. Harvest typically takes place in the autumn (September/October in the northern hemisphere, March/April in the southern hemisphere), with variations according to the region and climate, the grape variety and the style of wine required (grapes for sparkling wine will be harvested earlier than the norm, grapes for ice wine will be harvested later). Machine harvesting requires on average less than 5 man-hours per hectare, compared with up to 10 man-days per hectare for traditional hand harvesting. Some producers prefer the gentler nature of hand harvesting, while others opt for the speed and efficiency of machine harvesting.