After seeing all the interest in how Chateau Margaux brings in the harvest, it occurred to me that I haven’t really talked about our own harvest intake. So without further ado, this is how we harvest at O’Vineyards … plus all done with pictures taken by a friendly tourist during our 2010 harvest!
It starts with grapes ready for harvest:
Then somebody picks those grapes and puts them in a bucket. And eventually that bucket gets dumped into a fruit crate.
Those fruite cases are brought back to the winery where my dad slowly feeds the fruit into a destemmer.
The destemmer consists of a large cylinder with a vice in its center. The cylinder has holes that let grapes through but generally don’t let stems through. The vice has arms that turn and pop the grapes off their stems.
Then the destemmer drops the grapes onto a vibrating sorting table. The grapes bounce down the table where my mom, our brave tourists, and I pick out any snails, stems or leaves that made it into the fruit crates.
At the end of the sorting table, the grapes drop off into a conveyor belt that lifts them to the top of the fermentation tanks.
The grapes start their maceration and fermentation in the tank. There are a lot of whole berries and a lot of berries are slightly crushed by the fall into the tank and the weight of the grapes above them.
Big thanks for these awesome photos. They were all taken by Jeremy and his friends who showed up unannounced on our first day of harvest so it is super authentic. No Hollywood mock ups or mise en scene. We were very happy to kick of harvest with them and I hope you enjoy a blow-by-blow photo journey through an O’Vineyards harvest in the south of France.