So, you mean to tell me that August Hill Winery just so happens to harvest their wine grapes in August? You got that right. It’s time to reap the fruits of our labor!
The 2022 Harvest occurred on August 15-16 at our August Hill / ISC Winery & Vineyard in Peru, IL. Our workers arrived to the vineyard at 5:50 a.m. for two mornings in a row, ready to harvest some heavenly grapes with Bubbly Wenzel. We gathered our Frontenac Gris grapes on Monday and our La Crescent grapes on Tuesday.
The early mornings were crisp and cool, as the dew dried from the vines and grass. We could see the steam rising off of the Illinois River from the top of the hill. It was a beautiful, peaceful sight.
Bubbly Wenzel made sure to start gathering his grapes at the absolute perfect time. We harvested quickly as each crate of grapes traveled down to the winery for pressing. We made ‘grape’ timing, as it was a bountiful Harvest!
So, why does Bubbly Wenzel choose a specific time to collect his grapes? Well, he has his ‘raisins’! We all wait patiently for Veraison to occur in the summer – the crucial onset of grape ripening. During this process, the grapes undergo many changes: the berries turn color, soften and grow; the seeds turn brown and harden; the natural sugars increase and the acidity decreases, and the flavors and aromas develop.
Throughout this time, we have to make sure to keep hungry critters away from our fruit! However, it’s nice to see some wildlife build a home with us in the vineyard every now and then.
One thing about Wine Harvest: we don’t necessarily plan; we just do. Nothing is ever perfect, and things go awry.
But rest assured… there will be wine. And it will be amazing.