If you’ve ever wondered how grapes get from the vineyard to the wine bottle, we have the answers. We’ve gathered 10 videos that show winemakers in action during the harvest season, showing every step of the process, from the first grape picking to the last party.
Checking Grapes’ Ripeness
In this video, winemaker Rod Keeling explains how to tell if a grape is ready to be picked. He demonstrates using a refractometer to test the sugar levels of the grapes, and he also shows how to check a grape’s seed for ripeness.
Harvesting the Grapes
During the harvest season, grapes are often picked both during the day and at night. Here, Jordan Vineyard and Winery shows all the work that goes into one of their night harvests.
After the newly picked grapes are delivered to the wineries, they’re de-stemmed and sorted to ensure only the best grapes are turned into wine. This video shows how the workers at the wineries sort out the good grapes from the bad.
Crushing and Destemming Grapes
Some wineries will combine the crushing and de-stemming steps by using machines that remove the grapes from the stems. While the crushing machine removes the stems, it will extract the juice from the grapes.
After the grapes are crushed, the fermenting process begins. Wines can be fermented in both tanks and in barrels. The two different types of fermentation give different flavor profiles to the wine.
After fermentation, white wines are clarified to remove solid materials and tannins. This video explains how this process is done and what enzymes are used in clarification.
The next step in the wine-making process is aging the wine. In this video, a winemaker from Merriam Vineyards explains the different types of wood used in the aging process, and how the different barrel types affect the taste of the wine.
Bottling the Wine
Once the wine has been aged, it’s time to bottle it. Here, you can see the process of bottling, from putting the wine into bottles to placing the bottles in boxes that will be shipped out to stores.
At the end of harvest season, many wineries throw parties to introduce their new wines and to reward employees for their hard work during the season. This party at Opolo Vineyards features live music, wine tastings, gourmet food, and grape stomps.
If you’ve ever wondered how grapes become wine, these videos will give you an idea of what goes into the process. So educate yourself, and get ready to have the inside knowledge when you visit wineries this harvest season!