It's Winegrape Harvest Season! Here's What You Need To Know
North American Precis Syndicate
Expert vintners such as Aaron Lange say Lodi, California will produce high-quality wines this year. (NAPS)
(NAPSI)—As late summer turns to fall, vintners bring to bear all
their skill in tasting and timing as they aim to harvest their grapes when
they are “just ripe.” Aaron Lange has worked the harvest since he
was a kid, so he has seen a lot of great vintages. Now he’s Director of
Viticulture Operations at LangeTwins Family Winery and Vineyards, and
Chairman of the California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG). Here’s
his behind-the-scenes look at how the harvest affects the delicious wines you
know and love.
What are the ideal conditions for a
A good season of winter rain lays the foundation for a successful harvest,
preparing the soil before the growing season that begins in March. After
April, a sunny, dry spring and summer are ideal so vintners can control the
amount of water they apply through irrigation, hoping to prevent the grapes
from getting too big and losing flavor.
Should you be picky about when to
pick your grapes?
Definitely! While a lot of science goes into determining ripeness, growers
primarily rely on their taste buds for the ultimate decision about timing.
LangeTwins tends to harvest sparkling wine grapes first, its Chardonnay and
Pinot Noir varietals, to ensure lower sugar levels. Next are the white
winegrapes for Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris, and late-in-the-season
varietals, Lodi’s famous Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and
Syrah, are harvested last.
The secret is in the skin!
All the flavor, color and tannic structure reside in the skin of the
grapes. During harvest, you’ll see winemakers and growers squeeze the
pulp out of the grape and put only the skins in their mouths to help
Let’s meet at the vines at
The mechanical harvesters and workers take advantage of Lodi’s cool
evening temperatures, which allow the grapes to snap off the vine easily, and
less oxidation takes place as the grapes are transported from the vineyard to
the winery crusher, maintaining flavors.
A look at the Lodi, California
“While it was a challenging year for California growers, with wet weather and a
lot of leaf-pulling to open the canopies, the growers kept with it,”
said Lange. “The crop size looks average in comparison to years past,
and we believe that we’ll be able to harvest a quality crop that will
pay off in the wines once we get them bottled.”
Fourth- and fifth-generation growers like the Langes have worked to
from a supplier of grapes to a world-class wine-producing region. With
110,000 acres, more than 750 winegrowers, 90 wineries and over 125 varieties
of wine, Lodi is the largest appellation in
It boasts more acreage than both Napa
Valley and Sonoma County
About LangeTwins Family Winery and
For five generations, the LangeTwins family has been a sustainable
winegrape grower in the Lodi appellation of California. The
LangeTwins Family Winery and Vineyards produces a collection of brands including
LangeTwins Reserve, LangeTwins Estate and Caricature. LangeTwins is the
recipient of the 2014 International Award of Excellence in Sustainable
Winegrowing competition and has been honored by the Botanical Research
Institute of Texas and the 2017 CAWG Grower of the Year Award.
For more information, visit www.langetwins.com
or connect via www.facebook.com/LangeTwins,
@LangeTwins and www.instagram.com/langetwins.
On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)