Harvest: The most important moment of the year
The time has come for all Argentine wineries’ most longed-for event: the harvest, the great completion of the vine’s annual cycle and the conclusion of the work performed for a whole year at the estates. Taking Engineer Alberto Arizu’s phrase into account is enough to understand its relevance: “the wine is born at the vineyard, and that’s the most important factor to obtain a great wine.”
What does this mean? First and foremost, that the grape’s health is key to ensure the good quality of the fruits and, subsequently, the wine’s premium quality. So much so that, although a careless winemaking process using good grapes may result in a poor-quality wine, not even the best winemaker will be able to achieve a great wine using unhealthy grapes.
But, what is considered to be a healthy grape? It is the fruit harvested at the right time, when it is neither unripe nor overripe, but at a balanced degree of phenolic ripeness. To know when this specific point will be reached, take the traditional sugar to pulp ratio usually used to rate a fruit we eat fresh is not enough, but it is necessary to also understand and control the ripeness of the pomace (skin) and seeds.
To make a high quality wine, the harvest is the first step to take once the vine achieves the optimal degree of ripeness, a process during which grapes must be especially cared for by harvesters. At Luigi Bosca, the fruit picking process is manual, following certain parameters to ensure the utmost quality. First of all, it is important not to pick the grape when wet by rain or dew, as water may affect the quality of the grape juice that will be subsequently fermented. Likewise, carrying out the harvest during the hottest hours of the day should be avoided, to prevent fermentation to begin earlier due to excess heat.
The wine is born at the vineyard, and that’s the most important factor to obtain a great wine..
Afterwards, bunches are transported to the wine cellar in preferably small containers (18 to 20 kg), so they do not crash against each other, at low temperatures. At this point, the grape should be taken to the selection belt as soon as possible, when bunches that are not in their best condition are discarded. This way, healthy bunches proceed to the destemming process, followed by a second selection, of berries in this case.
Once berries go on to the fermentation stage, the process of transformation of must or grape juice in the wine formally begins, and this also marks the end of the harvest, to give rise to the winemaking processes for 2023 vintage wines.