When it comes to the art of making wine, every winemaker brings their own style or touch at harvest time. The journey to harvest began long before with decisions on where the grapes would be grown and using sustainable farming practices in guiding the grapes through verasion (when the grapes change color and begin to produce sugar), then carefully watching for the right balance of sugar and acid with fruit ripeness. The winemaker will check for these markers through lab tests, but more importantly by tasting the fruit and visually inspecting the grapes and seeds for ripeness.
Scents of wet earth, fresh fruit and leaves fill the air on that magical day of harvest. The grape clusters radiate a smoked purple color contrasting against the green, yellow, and orange leaves. The winemaker and the vineyard crew are huddled together, excited about the hand harvesting of the most important piece of the wine making process! It is just before dawn and the early mountain mist has kept this high mountain vineyard cool. The clusters of precious grapes are gently removed from their vines and quickly transported to the winery while they are still at a cool temperature.
Meanwhile, the winery crew anxiously awaits the arrival of the truck. The winery is already poised to receive the grapes. Excitement is in the air as the truck arrives and begins to unload its precious cargo. The winery crew quickly begins to sort through the grape clusters to remove unwanted leaves and M.O.G. (matter other than grape). The next thing the grape cluster sees is the de-stemmer, which gently separates the individual berries from their stems. Any stray leaves, unripe grapes, and M.O.G. are separated away from the pristine, whole, ripe berries. Only the selected berries now are allowed to travel onward to the much anticipated fermentation process.
The Bergeron Winery is located in the small coastal town of Trinidad, on the north coast of California. The area is one of only a few temperate rainforest climates in the entire world. Due to this unique climate and environment, the winery temperatures naturally stay in the 50’s during harvest and the crush without the need for air conditioning. The cool coastal fog keeps the winery cool with the perfect humidity. This sets the stage for the symphony of the fermentation process.