While many people enjoy fall vineyard parties and tasting excursions in harvest season, they rarely see the exhausting work performed inside the winery during that time.
So Wall Street Journal wine writer Lettie Teague penned a column this week, entitled “What Really Goes Into Making Merlot,” that takes a look at what happens in the cellar in late summer or early fall. That includes canopy management, cleaning crush pads and deciding what day to pick.
“The actual harvest, which can last days or weeks, is a full-court press to get the fruit off the vine and into bins as quickly and efficiently—and with as much care—as possible,” Teague writes. “Just-picked grapes are in a fragile state, and their juice can easily oxidize if the fruit is bruised or damaged.”
And although the title references what is widely considered Long Island’s signature grape, the column makes little mention of merlot.
Instead, the local connection comes in the form of musings from Bedell Cellars winemaker Rich Olsen-Harbich and this witty quote from Paumanok Vineyards owner Charles Massoud.
“We are in a partnership with Mother Nature,” Massoud said. “But she is the senior partner.”