In early September the harvest also begins in Gavi, in Monferrato
The Tenuta a Marchesa is located in Monferrato, in the heart of the Gavi area; the harvest in the 143 acres of our wine estate begins with the Gavi grape, followed by Pelaverga, Slarina, Albarossa and Uvalino.
The history of the grape harvest
Since the time of ancient Rome there is evidence of bunches of grapes harvested and pressed.
The Romans had dedicated a special feast to the grape harvest, the Vinalia Rustica celebrated on August 19th, a date earlier than the current one, probably the climate was warmer than it is today.
Until 1800, the harvest was done in the same way, with the hand harvesting of the grapes carried in baskets to the pressing where a young man crushed the grapes with his feet as seen in a 1700 print published on a French book on agriculture: the Maison Rustique.
The harvest, the three ripening of the grapes and the moment of harvest
The harvest takes place when the balance between the three maturations occurs: the technological maturation, linked to the optimal ratio between sugars and acids, the phenolic maturation which coincides with the moment in which the skins have reached the maximum concentration of phenolic substances, the aromatic ripeness which is linked to the maximum concentration of aromatic substances.
The method of harvesting
The harvesting can be manual or mechanical.
The oldest method of harvesting is manual harvesting, it is a very tiring harvest often done in full sun with the difficulty of separating the perfectly ripe part from the one still unripe or affected by diseases in the same bunch. We still do the manual harvesting in part of the vineyards.
The harvesting method with the grape harvester has variuos advantages:
the grapes are harvested when the balance between the three maturations mentioned above has been reached, the harvest takes place in optimal hygienic conditions as the grapes are never touched by the hands and the harvester is washed at each work shift, they are only collected the perfectly ripe berries leaving on the plant the stalks with the unripe or rotten berries attached.
In this way the grapes are selected in a way that is impossible to make manually.
Harvest by hand or by machine?
A few years ago we did, with a university institute, a scientific experimentation between hand-picked and machine-picked grapes, finding identical if not better results in harvesting with the grape harvester.
This is why we decided to use the mechanical harvesting for the largest part of our wine estate.
The harvest in Monferrato
The harvest in Monferrato lasts almost a month as the different grape varieties have different ripening periods: Gavi is harvested from 9 to 25 September; the Pelaverga ripens slightly later with Slarina and is harvested from 15 to 20 September, than we harvest Albarossa while the last one is Uvalino.
The role of sulphites
Sulphites are normally added during the harvest to prevent fermentation from starting, at the Marchesa we collect and press in 30 minutes so we do not put sulphites in the harvest. This procedure together with the cultivation of the vineyard with the mycorizze allows u stoi have total sulphites much less than the organic wines.
After the harvest and the pressing of the grapes, the fermentation of the musts begins, at the Marchesa we only use stainless steel tanks at a controlled temperature to obtain the scent of the wines at the highest level.
The visit during the Harvest
As you can imagine, the harvest is the most intense period of the entire year, visits during the harvest in Gavi, in Monferrato are reserved only for the guests of the farmhouse.
If you want to visit us during the harvest in Gavi in Monferrato fill out the form below.