On Monday, we kicked off the 2013 harvest with Merlot. Typically first among the reds to be ready for harvest, our Merlot was ready about a week early this year due to the warm summer we experienced this year. The harvest is the first step for the grapes on a long, arduous journey from vine to wine.
Following the picking, the grapes will sit over night at the winery to cool. First thing in the morning, the grapes are de-stemmed, crushed and left to ferment for seven to ten days. During this time the skins and lees are left in the juice, which absorbs the color, flavor and tannins of the skin.
At the end of this period, the wine is pressed and the juice extracted. This juice will then be transferred to barrels where it will mature for a period of about two years.