Picking through harvest season Pt 1

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By Robert Farmer
I love harvest for so many reasons. Most have to do with the time of year--I'm a big fan of fall; the crisp air, the changing colors, the shortening days, the whole thing. But with particular regard to wine itself, harvest is an obviously interesting time of year.  It's the time of year at which everything that happened in the preceding months comes to bear in the vineyards.  From weather to soil quality, to farming techniques, this is more like "crunch" time than it is "crush" time.
Everything a winemaker knows is called upon during harvest--from fertilizers to fermentation and there is no margin for error. The process moves from out of nature's hands and into human hands. It's the once-a-year-only opportunity to create something that will reflect the winemaker's skill and knowledge for a lifetime.

So it is not surprising that during crush time, vineyards and wineries are exciting places to be. I've long advocated for visiting wine country--whether California's, Oregon's, Washington's or any place else--during harvest time to have the quintessential wine country experience.

Though it can be difficult to find places to stay without booking well in advance, it's worth the effort to make the trip and to get an idea of what winemaking is like that you simply cannot get from one side of a tasting counter.

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