Harvest Time in Livermore Valley

Late August begins an exciting season in Livermore Valley Wine Country – harvest time! Ever wonder the steps wineries take to bring the grapes from vine to glass? #LearnaLittleMore with us.

Step 1: Pick

From Mid August to Late November, winegrowers pick the grapes. Whether it’s by machine or hand, the grapes are picked from the vines and moved into bins to be transported to the crush pad.

Photo Courtesy of Ron Essex Photography

Step 2: Crush

After the grapes are picked, they move to where the winery plans to sort and crush the grapes. Sorting happens to remove any leaves, stems or crawling critters! White and red wine grapes are treated differently at this stage. Red grapes commonly keep their skins while white grapes are usually pressed.

Photo Courtesy of Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association

Step 3: Ferment

The fermentation process is where sugar converts to alcohol. The techniques vary based on different grapes and winemaker. For the most part, this step includes adding yeast.

Photo Courtesy: VinePair

Step 4: Aging

Like fermentation, there are many different techniques to aging a wine. There are a number of different barrel opinions for both red and white wine. The length of aging varies per wine. Some whites only age for a few months, while some dry reds age up to 36 months.

Photo Courtesy of Ron Essex Photography

Step 5: Bottle

Once the wine has aged to the winemakers liking, the wine is bottled! Different glass colors, sizes and closures are used for different wines or styles. Wine can still be aged once in a bottle! Ask the winemaker for their personal opinion on how long their wine can be laid down for.

Photo Courtesy of Ron Essex Photography