Knocking on Wood…
For many of us it is sad to see summer go. However there are many reasons to celebrate the coming of fall. Winemakers are a group of people who understand this very well.
All fruit needs time to ripen. Leaving fruit on the vine is called hang time and it allows the fruit to fully mature. Sugar levels increase (which will be fermented into alcohol) and better and more complex natural flavors result in the wine.
But waiting costs growers money.
Winemakers want to get the grapes off of the vine (when they have fully matured) and put them into tank, barrel, or bottle as soon as possible. Winemakers would prefer to have their fate in their own hands working with the various elements that they can control (wine production).
There is NO controlling the weather, and Mother Nature can play havoc.
A few months ago, when I visited wineries on the North Fork of Long Island all the winemakers were talking of a potential banner year (while knocking on wood–literally) due to the excessive summer heat. The following day they experienced a hail storm which took out a significant percentage of some of their crops!
When the extremely hard work of harvesting the crop finishes, it is time for a party. Many countries around the world have annual wine harvest celebrations. Some occur before the hard work begins but here are a few you can still attend to join in the fun.
Or visit a local winery to help them sample the fruits of their labor!