One increasingly common practice at harvest is the night pick. Night harvest are really a win win for vineyard and winery. That is of course if you exlude the fact that all parties involved lose sleep, but we lose so much sleep anyway during harvest than another few hours doesn’t seem to matter.
I think vineyard workers enjoy night harvest because they can pick more in a day and harvest at cooler temperatures. Vineyard managers enjoy this as well because cooler weather improves labor effeciency, but over and above that their clients are generally happier with night harvests. Why might that be?
We enjoy night harvest because the fruit arrives cold and early. Cold is important because controlling and predicting fermentation temperature is very important for native ferments, and extraction of all those components that lead to the wonder texture of Donelan Wines. Additionally, cold fruit doesn’t ferment readily decreasing the risk of volatile acidity development in juicy grapes. When the fruit is early it sets up our day much better and we are able to accomplish much more in a day with the chance, the chance, of seeing our families at night!