JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — When is the right time to harvest?
In general, the prime time for the annual grape harvest falls in the months of August, September and October. The best way to test for maturity of a grape is by tasting them. If the grapes are sweet and flavorful, they are ready to be picked. Winemakers will ensure the varietal flavors show through.
Another way to determine if grapes are ready to be picked is by examining their color. This is, of course, dependent on the type of grape that is grown. Red grape varieties will turn from green to red as they ripen, while the stems and grape seeds turn brown.
Grapes should be picked on a dry day, as wet grapes do not keep as well. Once harvested, they can be stored for several weeks at 32 degrees Fahrenheit and 90% humidity level.
Is hand-harvesting better than machine-harvesting? We’ve got the rundown on the man versus the machine debate.
Hand-harvesting means that only hand tools such as knives and shears are used. Once cut, the grapes go into a collection basket and are transported to the winery.
To read more about wine harvest in Missouri, click here!
— Missouri Department of Agriculture
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