The Harvest term comes from the Latin “Vinum” wine and “Demere” take off. It indicates the period, which usually goes from July to October, in which the grapes reach good ripeness and must be harvested to transform them later into wine.
The harvest period is the most important and rewarding for us because we can touch the fruits of so much work and sacrifice that will give us just as much satisfaction. The right time to carry it out depends on several factors such as climatic conditions, the production area, the type of grapes that must be harvested, and the kind of wine you want to obtain.
Our company usually starts the harvest in September, exclusively by hand, for about 15-20 days. The harvest by hand is a technique used above all for high-quality wines and sparkling wines. This technique is indispensable because it allows a selective choice of the bunches and their higher quality. The grapes should never be harvested if wet because the water could compromise the final flavor of the wine. Otherwise, they should not be harvested even in the hottest hours because they would risk fermenting. Once checked so that they do not present mold or imperfections, the bunches are placed in special containers that avoid crushing the berries and then emptied into the trailers that will transport the grapes to the cellar.
For Prosecco, the harvested grape is Glera, and this year the harvest period for Drusian began on September 5th. At one time, the harvest is done manually involving the beating of the bunches barefoot inside large tubs. Then, for hygienic and performance reasons, the machines took over. Today after being harvested, the grapes arrive in the cellar and are subjected to numerous qualitative analyzes. The crop is dumped into the hopper. Thus begins the first processing of the whole bunch, including the stem. This passage of the harvest is the most important.
After unloading in hoppers, the bunches flow into the soft-pressing pneumatic press to divide the skins from the grape juice. The cycle takes place at only 1 bar of pressure. So as not to compromise the quality of the wort. From the pomace still damp, we can obtain a fragrant and light grappa by distillation.
The must obtain is introduced into the steel tanks to make it decant. After about 10-12 hours, the clear part is separated from the deposit and starts the first fermentation. It takes place thanks to the addition of natural yeasts that transform the grape’s sugar into alcohol. The fermentation period is 15-20 days at a constant temperature of 15-20 ° and is the final phase of the actual harvest.
After fermentation takes place the phase of maturation of the wine from which we obtain the basic one, the starting point for sparkling wine. Those take place in the autoclaves, large containers that hold up to 6 atmospheres of pressure, where the wine is introduced together with yeasts and sugar (for sparkling wines, or with yeasts and rectified concentrated must for sparkling wines) that, with the correct temperatures, start fermentation and the formation of the famous bubbles. The sparkling wine usually lasts at least 30 days, but in our company, we start from at least 60 to obtain a fine and persistent perlage.
When we think that the era spent in the autoclave is sufficient, the wine is filtered to eliminate any yeast residues and then later bottled.
Azienda Agricola Drusian Francesco, Via Anche, 1 – 31049 Bigolino di Valdobbiadene (TV) – Italy