Crushing & Harvesting Grapes for Wine | Wine Making Process - Keenan Winery

Keenan Winery Harvest & Crush

Ever wondered what grape harvesting and crush at Keenan Winery is really like? Here’s a 3 minute look at the magic!

Come along with us, and we’ll take you on a behind-the-scenes tour of how we work our miracles! Once our grapes have reached the desired sugar content (also known as “brix”), we begin harvesting the fruit. This is a full, family affair, where everyone is involved including our entire harvest team. Many of our harvesters have been working with us for over 10 years each.

As the teams collect the grapes in hand bins, they are carried to the large two ton bins, and pulled behind a tractor from the vineyards thru the grape rows to the winery.  Once all our collections of harvested grapes have arrived, the single varietal grapes (Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah or Zinfandel) are de-stemmed and then crushed for juice. The juice remains on the skins for a pre-determined amount of time or days, depending on the varietal and our tradition, and then is separated and stored first in stainless steel tanks and later oak barrels.

Harvest and crush occur in unison, and typically take place in late summer and early autumn. This is a time when the days are starting to get shorter and winter foods like squash and root crops such as potatoes and beets begin replacing the corn and figs of summer. As such, harvest is an excellent time to enjoy a feast celebrating the season and the enormous moon that is named after this period of time. Below is a wonderful recipe for Cinnamon Roasted Squash Soup:

CINNAMON ROASTED SQUASH SOUP RECIPE FOR HARVEST PARTY

 INGREDIENTS

1 large onion, chopped

3 tablespoons butter

1 large butternut squash (split, de-seeded, and face down on a cinnamon and olive oil covered cookie sheet)

3 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) chicken broth

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

1 garlic clove, minced

cinnamon sticks to garnish

sour cream to garnish

DIRECTIONS

In a large soup pan, sauté onion in butter until tender. Add the broth, brown sugar, ginger, garlic and cinnamon and set aside.
Meanwhile bake squash as described above for 1 hour. Remove from oven, peel off skin with a butter knife, cube and set into soup mixture. Cook for 30 minutes then blend with a hand-held blender.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream and cinnamon stick garnish.

Enjoy!