When to Pick Grapes for Wine

Updated: Jul 4, 2020

One of the most critical decisions a winemaker or grower must make is when to pick the grapes. Unlike most fruits, grapes do not continue to ripen after being picked. If picked too early, the resulting wine can be tart and overly herbaceous. If picked too late, the wine can be "flabby" (low acidity) and oxidized. Choosing the optimal time to harvest is a challenging decision and involves balancing many different factors. Here, I will suggest some indicators that will help with the picking decision.