Harvest 2019 has begun at Zenato and Sansonina (why hand-picking is key)

The grape harvest in Verona province is one of the most beautiful sights you’ll ever see. Nothing can compare, visually, to the picturesque, fully ripe grape bunches on the vine being picked.

But beyond the cinematic, harvest is also the most important moment in the vines’ vegetative cycle. It’s at this moment that the quality of wines the vintage will be set in stone.

The grape grower needs to pick at just the right moment to ensure that the balance between sugar and acidity is perfect. As important as vineyard management and winemaking are, it’s this decision that will determine the ultimate caliber of the wine.

Those are some of the first grapes to be picked in Valpolicella Classica above (you can see more on the Zenato Facebook here).

As you can see in the image, the grapes for Zenato and Sansonina wines are picked by hand. And as any great winemaker will tell you, hand-picking is key in this extremely important moment of the grape’s life, so to speak.

In order to make great wine, the winemaker needs the fruit to arrive in the cellar as pristine as possible. If the skins of the grapes break before fermentation begins, it can cause major problems down the line. Keeping those clusters intact is a top priority for the pickers, who place them gently into crates that are then transported to the winery.

Grape picking is labor-intensive, exhausting work. But it’s thanks to the diligent pickers that the berries will make to the fermentation vats in perfect condition. Without their hard work and care, the entire year’s work would be moot.