Cheers to Harvest Time: Fun Facts About Wine Grape Harvest

Monday, August 21st, 2023
grape harvest

Cheers to Harvest Time: Fun Facts About Wine Grape Harvest


As summer draws to a close, vineyards around the world come alive with a vibrant and exciting season: wine grape harvest. This annual ritual marks the culmination of months of careful cultivation and anticipation. Join us on a journey through some fascinating and delightful fun facts about the wine grape harvest, where tradition, science, and a touch of magic blend to create the perfect vintage.


  1. The Dance of Timing—The Harvest Window: Did you know that the timing of the grape harvest is critical to the wine’s flavor and character? Winemakers meticulously monitor the sugar, acid, and pH levels of the grapes to determine the ideal moment for picking. This balance affects everything from the wine’s sweetness to its overall structure, ensuring a harmonious symphony of flavors in every bottle.


  1. The Nocturnal Harvest—Cool and Collected Grapes: Ever wondered why some vineyards harvest their grapes at night? Cooler temperatures during the night preserve the grapes’ freshness and acidity, crucial for crafting high-quality wines. Harvesting under the moonlight also minimizes oxidation and reduces the chances of unwanted fermentation before the grapes reach the winery. At Heart of the Desert you will see a bright light on a looming machine lumbering through the grape vines in the dead of night during grape harvest. Because it’s so dark, it appears to be a hovercraft.


  1. The Hectic “Crush”—Transforming Grapes into Juice: After the grapes are harvested, they undergo the “crush” process, where the skins are broken to release the juice inside. This juice is the foundation for winemaking. The scene can be chaotic and exhilarating, as winemakers work quickly to extract the juice while preserving its integrity.


  1. The Science of Fermentation—Yeast Magic Unleashed: During fermentation, yeast consumes the grape sugars and converts them into alcohol and carbon dioxide. The process produces heat, and winemakers carefully control the temperature to influence the wine’s aroma and flavor. This delicate dance of science and art can last from days to weeks, depending on the style of wine being crafted.


  1. Colors of Harvest—Red, White, and Pink Galore: The color of wine grapes doesn’t always correspond to the final wine’s color. For instance, white wines can be produced from red or pink grapes. The color extraction happens during fermentation, as the grape skins release their pigments into the juice. A Rosé would be made from a red grape with the skins being removed early. So, a white wine made from red grapes would have the skins removed before fermentation.


The wine grape harvest is a symphony of tradition, innovation, and passion. From the careful picking of grapes to the transformation of juice into wine, this magical season encapsulates the essence of winemaking. As you savor your next glass of wine, raise it in a toast to the dedicated hands that brought forth the bountiful harvest and the masterful minds that turned it into a liquid masterpiece.




Heart of the Desert is a working pistachio ranch and vineyard with four retail establishments in New Mexico. They are best known for their farm-fresh pistachios and Award-Winning New Mexico wines. Each store offers wine and pistachio tastings. They offer worldwide shipping and produce attractive gourmet baskets that make great corporate and family gifts. The main store, on the ranch in Alamogordo, offers farm tours that showcase how pistachios are grown and processed, as well as a stunning Tuscany-themed patio that overlooks the groves and is available for weddings, private parties, or enjoying a relaxing glass of wine.