More About Harvest: De-Stemming

The winery is a very interesting place to be right now as we are in the early stages of harvest season! Being part of a legitimate, operating winery means seeing workers maneuvering though the tank yard de-stemming tons (literally, tons) of grapes on my morning walk into the office. Even working here, it’s still pretty neat to understand that the Moscato I enjoyed on Saturday night was literally growing outside my office window last year. It doesn’t get much more “farm-to-table” than that.

Our winemaking team starts with plump, ripe Muscat grapes, the first grape of our 2013 harvest season. Don’t they look delicious?

I asked Mark, our winemaker, how he knows when to pick the grapes. “For sparkling wine, we pick the grapes when they no longer hurt.” Or in other words, when they no longer make you pucker!

The grape clusters are raked into the de-stemmer where the grapes are separated from the unusable portions (which are later used for compost). We usually de-stem 10-12 tons of grapes per day.

The stems are filtered out to be returned to the vineyard. The must (seeds and skins) and juice are then pumped through tubes in the opposite direction of a coolant to control the temperature. Can you see the must flowing through?

The Muscat juice is kept in contact with the skins anywhere from 3 hours to overnight. This will release the floral aromas you detect when sipping our Moscato.

De-stemming is just one of many, fascinating steps in creating all of our wines.

If you haven’t yet experienced Ponte during harvest season, come on out and see all the excitement for yourself.  Click here to learn more about scheduling your winery tour.

Make a night of it!  Book a room or suite at Ponte Vineyard Inn here.

Order our 2012 sparkling Moscato here.

–Elyse Barton

–What’s your favorite time of year to visit Ponte?

Read more about ponte-family here: More About Harvest: De-Stemming

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