Saturday, September 14, 2019


I'm assuming these are were sauvignon blanc grapes. This is what's left after the mechanical harvester passes. It strips the grapes right off their bunches, so there's supposedly not a lot of excess material that needs to be separated out at the winery.

Some grapes are left behind.

I read that in some wine making regions, like Sauternes and Champagne, the grapes are picked by hand to ensure that the wineries get whole bunches intact (in fact, some properties in Sauternes pick individual grapes and make several passes through their vineyards during the harvest, a practice that contributes to the high price of Sauternes). When whole bunches are picked by hand, the grapes stay on the stem right up to the crushing process and very little precious juice is prematurely released or lost. I have seen the mechanical harvesters emptying their bins and there is quite a lot of juice being poured into the trailer along with the grapes.


  1. IAt lunch yesterday heard a discussion (argument) at a nearby table about why grapes should absolutely NOT be picked by a machine.

  2. I wonder how often the trailer bins are hosed and scrubbed down.

  3. Sad sight in some ways. End of summer. :(

  4. mitch, you find everything in NYC!

    sheila, given that grapes were once stomped by people in bare feet, I'm not too concerned. Besides, alcohol is a disinfectant.

    elgee, yup.

  5. I've always thought grapes had to be picked by hand, like tea or coffee lest there are problems and immature pickings.

  6. michael, true, but sometimes it takes too long and there's a risk of loosing much of the crop. The machines get the job done in short order so the growers can be more selective about where and when to hand pick.


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