Grape Harvest – What Goes into Harvest Season

Central Coast Grape HarvestHere on the Central Coast we have the luxury of living and working in the midst of one of the best up and coming wine regions in the world. We have the pleasure of knowing a number of growers, vinters, and other wine lovers. We also have the advantage of having tastings from boutique wineries right in our Wine Bar each week. All this means that over the years we’ve come to know a fair bit about the wine making process—of course we’re not professionals by any means, but we can share our little bit of knowledge with you.

As the fall season dawns, the wine industry is thinking one thing: CRUSH! The grape harvest or the crush is a crucial part of the wine making process. It happens as the grapes finish ripening on the vines and the wine-maker decides that the time has come to pick the grapes. This is a massive, massive effort and oftentimes this means that people from all over the world will flock to Paso Robles to help with the Harvest and Crush. Did you know that there are actually wine professionals who fly around the world helping with the Crush at different wineries for a living? They’ll spend September, October, November in the Northern Hemisphere and March, April, May in the Southern Hemisphere.

After the grapes have been picked, they are taken into the winery and prepared for the primary ferment. The grapes are crushed and are either fermented with their skins (for red wine) or with just the juice (for white wine). The grape harvest, initial crush and the primary fermentation is only the first step in what can be a multi-year process for a wine-maker.

This is also a great time to experience the wine-making industry on the Central Coast. The wineries are all hopping with activity and there is lots to be seen. Maybe you should think about a trip to the Central Coast. If you do, we’re located in lovely Cambria, California only 20 minutes from Paso Robles and all their fantastic wineries.