Disclaimer:  All information on this site is for informational purposes only.  Before using any alternative remedy, begin any new exercise routine or otherwise start trying any of the recipes included on these pages, check with your primary health provider.  Many herbs, foods, and exercises can conflict with medications you are taking or have unknown side effects.

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Harvesting Grapes for Wine and Other Uses

Grapes used for wine need to be fully mature and at the peak of flavor and sweetness. Color does not determine peak ripeness of wine grapes, as most grapes change color often long before they are fully mature and sweet. The best way to determine ripeness for the home vintner is to taste the grapes daily until they are perfect for winemaking. 

Equipment Needed

Garden scissors or
Sharp knife
Baskets or other containers

Select fully ripe grape clusters for harvesting.

Cut the cluster from the vine as close to the top of the cluster as possible, leaving any remaining stem on the vine.

Gently lay the clusters into a basket or other gathering container.

Store the grapes at 32 degrees F in an area with high humidity. American grape variety do not store well, so they should be turned into juice as soon as possible. European varieties may keep up to 8 weeks under the proper temperature and humidity.

Words of Wisdom

Grapes, unlike many fruits, do not continue to ripen after they have been removed from the vine.

To prevent any chance of mold growing on stored grapes, be sure the grape clusters are dry before storing. Allowing the clusters to dry from morning dew or rain will help prevent rotting also.

The same method of cutting the grape clusters from the vine is used in both cultivated and wild varieties of grapes.

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Kat and Kevin Yares

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