When is grape season? That’s a question that many people wonder about wine grapes. It’s helpful to know about the timing of grape season for a few reasons. You can time your wine travel to see grape harvest season unfold. The weather during the grape season also influences the quality of wine production.
When Is Grape Season In The Napa Valley?
The Napa Valley region of California is legendary for the quality of grapes it produces. In addition, the Napa Valley wine country is also a significant tourist destination.
According to Visit Napa Valley, the grape harvest season runs from August to October every year. Specifically, sparkling wine grapes are usually harvested first in early August. Next, white wines are harvested. Finally, red grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon are harvested close to the end of the season. When you visit, you see how the grape growers in the region manage multiple grape varieties
Visiting the Napa Valley during the grape harvest season is fun because the region’s wine country is full of events. For example, Markham Vineyards is running an event called the Legends of Merlot Harvest Dinner. If you visit late in the grape harvest season, you can participate in Cabernet Season. You can enjoy the region’s seasonal food with a local glass of wine while browsing autumn markets.
When Is Grape Season In Bordeaux?
French wine is the focus of the Travel by Glass blog, so let’s cover grape season in France’s most famous wine country region: Bordeaux.
According to Bordeaux magazine, the grape harvest season traditionally takes place in September. However, the exact dates vary each year depending on the weather. The harvest can start as early as August and extend into September.
For the largest producer in the region, gathering all of the individual berries takes a significant effort. The entire harvest season may take several weeks in some cases. Note that quality grape production involves choosing which berries are suitable for wine vs. other uses like grape jam.
When Is Grape Season In Ontario?
Vineyard workers in Ontario do their work at different times, depending on the wine they produce. The primary grape harvest season in Ontario takes place between September and October. After October, the age-old process of producing wine starts. For quality wines, it makes takes 18-24 months to transform ripe grape berries into wine.
For late harvest wine grapes, the entire process starts at a later process. After the summer fruit has been picked, vineyard workers come back later in the season to pick different grapes. Late harvest wine grapes are known for the relatively sweet wine they produce. For a white wine example, look into the region’s Riesling wine.
In a colder wine region like Ontario, the annual grape harvest in the winter months is entirely different. Vineyard workers typically wait for a sustained temperature of minus 8 Celsius (equivalent to 17.6 Fahrenheit) for a sustained period. By harvesting the grapes at such a low air temperature, frozen grapes are much easier to find. However, managing frozen grapes and making them into wine is complicated. That is why a quality bottle of ice wine typically costs more than a bottle of regular wine.
When Is Grape Season In Australia?
The grape harvest season in Australia and other locations in the southern hemisphere is different from Europe and North America. Typically, the grape harvest season in the Barossa Valley starts in February and runs to April.
If you want to see fresh fruits on the vine in Australia, plan your wine travel for March or April. That will give you a good chance of seeing a wide variety of different grape clusters. There is a downside to visiting a vineyard during a busy period of time. The vineyard workers may have less time to talk to visitors.
How To Learn About Thousands of Varieties of Wine
There is nothing like seeing people pick tons of grapes and produce a quality Sauvignon Blanc, Petite Verdot, or another type of wine. However, learning about the basics of wine from a single vineyard location will only tell you so much.
To get a broader perspective on wine, taking a digital course is a great idea. Earlier this year, I completed The Everyday Guide to Wine Great Course. Over the course of a few weeks, you can learn about the detailed process that vineyards and wineries use to prepare fantastic wines. The best part? The Great Course is beginner-friendly. To find out if the Great Course is right for you, check out my review: The Everyday Guide to Wine (Audible Great Course): 24 Lectures That Guide You Through The World’s Wines.