Everything Starts with the Grapes
By N.Neslihan Ivit, M.Sc. Viticulture and Enology
The harvest season is the most exciting time of the year for grape growers, since they are harvesting the fruit that they have been working all year long. It is equally exciting for wineries, since it is the only time that they ferment the grapes. There are many different varieties of grape produced in our valley and they all have a different time of ripening. This is an advantage for both grape growers and winemakers because their busy schedule during the harvest period is eased by varied harvest dates.
Grape harvest date has a great impact on the characteristics of the wine to be produced. It is so important that even one day matters. Before the harvest, the grapes continue their maturation process, increasing the amount of sugar and decreasing the amount of acidity. The aim is picking the grapes when they reach their optimum maturity, which depends on the type of the wine to be produced. For sparkling wine production, an earlier harvest date is generally preferred, since higher acidity and lower sugar levels are suitable for the process of sparkling winemaking. For ice wine production, late harvest date is desirable to obtain a higher sugar level.
The harvest date also affects the aromas that will be formed in the wine. That is one of the reasons why some people consider winemaking an art, because all the decisions that are made, starting in the vineyard and until the bottling, will lead you to a unique product. Let’s raise our glasses to celebrate the grape harvest, to the starting point of the production of the unique wines of Nova Scotia. Cheers!
For more information about grapes and wines, you can visit winesofnesli.com and follow @winesofnesli on Instagram and Twitter.