HARVEST

Probably the most important time of the year for a vineyard is harvest time. It is when all those many months of hard work and nurturing come to fruition and we literally get to see the fruits of our labours. 

 

This year at Tuffon Hall we harvested mid to late October and although this is relatively late  in the calendar in terms of the lifecycle of a vine we are bound by nature and controlled by the weather. The lack of sunshine in August pushed back our harvest by about 4 weeks but September proved to be a warm and sunny month and really brought the grapes on well.

 

The weather is a major factor in determining when we are able to pick our grapes. The acidity and sugar levels need to be as perfect as they can be prior to harvest to ensure as natural a wine making process as possible and minimal human intervention. 

 

From about 4 weeks prior to our predicted harvest time Leslie our vineyard manager will regularly monitor the grapes ripeness by taking samples of the different varieties at different locations around the vineyard. Together with Pod, he uses a small device called a ‘refractometer’ which measures the amount of sugar in the grape juice.

They then test the acid levels of each variety.

 

When we are sure the grape is at its peak it’s all hands on deck to get the grapes in. On the day, our pickers are the most hardworking and dedicated team of people. We now have a lot of vines with big yields and not much time to get the grapes in. We harvest one variety at a time and it is essential to get the freshly picked grapes down to the winery ready for pressing the same day. 

 

It’s certainly a busy time in the vineyard but everyone joins in and there is definitely an exciting buzz and a real sense of pride as the buckets fill and the vines empty.

 

We are now looking forward to seeing, trying and sharing our 2021 vintage with you when it is ready next spring!