October is coming to a close and the 2021 wine harvest season is winding down. Though this is the busiest time of year for wineries in Italy, it is also the Candoni De Zan family’s favorite season. Our family has been hard at work over the last couple of months harvesting beautiful grapes from our vineyards for our award-winning wines. Now that la vendemmia is wrapping up, we wanted to take a moment to give you a look into this year’s harvest and everything that has gone into it.
When Are Wine Grapes Harvested?
Every year during the months of September and October, towns and cities all over Italy celebrate vendemmia with festivals, tours, and tastings. La vendemmia literally translates to “the harvest” or “the vintage,” though it means much more than that in Italian culture. In fact, the concept of the grape harvest can symbolize different things to different families and communities. For us at Candoni, it’s a huge undertaking that we take great pride in!
The exact date of the grape harvest season is decided year by year and the timing is crucial. This is because the most important factor is the ripeness of the grapes, which is different from vineyard to vineyard across all of the regions of Italy. The time of perfect ripeness can vary depending on temperature and the amount of rainfall. At the Candoni De Zan family vineyards, our agronomist and winemakers perform both visual and physical evaluations to determine the best time to harvest grapes for wine.
This year’s harvest of grapes began slightly later than expected, as we rely on nature to tell us when the time is right. Generally, the white grapes are harvested in the first ten days of September, and the red grapes—such as those used to make our Polvaro Cabernet Sauvignon and Ricco Dolce wine—are typically harvested a few weeks later, up to the beginning of October at the latest.
What Goes into a Harvest?
One of the most common questions people have after seeing the rows upon rows of grapes in our vineyards is “How are grapes harvested?” Let us tell you!
The Candoni De Zan family vineyards use a combination of wine harvesting machines and traditional hand-picking techniques. The mechanical grape harvesters are equipped with state-of-the-art sensors which protect the plants and increase the quality of the harvest. When hand-picking the grapes, the cluster is gently removed from the vine and placed inside wine grape harvest bins to be transported. This level of care is reserved for a small selection of grapes that are destined for the premium wines in our collection.
For the best possible results during harvest season, the work is done during the night or in the early hours of the morning until the harvest is complete. The hard work definitely pays off. Because we waited to harvest the wine grapes until they were perfectly ripe, our wines will benefit greatly with more pronounced flavors.
Now that the harvest is done, the work is just beginning. The grapes must be taken to the cellar where a new phase of rituals is performed to preserve and enhance the flavors. This is truly the most intense moment in the process of winemaking!
The 2021 Mundus Vini Summer Tasting Awards
As an added bonus during this festive time of year, the Candoni De Zan family was thrilled to learn that at the 2021 Mundus Vini Summer Tasting, wines from our Tenuta Polvaro line were awarded 7 medals in total.
Mundus Vini, meaning “clean wine”, was founded 20 years ago by Meininger Verlag, a printing and publishing house specializing in wine and beverages, and has since become one of the most influential wine competitions in the world. This event aims to promote quality in wines and with over 11,000 wines submitted every year, the awards we received are that much more meaningful.
Take Part in the Celebration!
For the whole Candoni De Zan Family, la vendemmia is a magical time of year. There is so much passion and hard work that goes into our wines throughout the year. As we wrap up this year’s grape harvest in Italy, it’s time to give thanks to the land that continues to give us such wonderful fruits and the people who have worked tirelessly to get us to this point.
How are you celebrating the harvest season with your family and friends? We hope you are able to relax, let loose, and celebrate yourself, even if just for a few hours. Check out our vegan recipe ebook for some ideas on how you can honor the environment with delicious food. Don’t forget to tag us in the festivities by using @candoniwines or #CandoniWines on Facebook and Instagram! Be sure to follow our Tenuta Polvaro line, @tenutapolvaro, on Instagram or our Ricco wines, @RiccoFromCarlettoWines, on Facebook.
Cheers and happy harvest!
Barbara and Caterina