Processing the fruit on the crushpad at Mira Winery.

In between the 2 big parts of winemaking (the growing of the grapes and the making of the wine) there is the exciting and quick process of harvest. That’s when the grapes are picked and processed.

Picking quickly and precisely is a skill for sure, but a pretty self-explanatory step in harvest. But what does “processing the fruit” mean?

Basically, it’s the stage in the process where winemakers go from bunches of picked grapes to final grapes going into tank. There are actually several options on how exactly to do this but the basic process is the same: Sort the grapes to make sure only quality fruit is getting in (though, this is done when picking as well) and then get those grapes into the vessel of choice (tank, concrete egg, wood egg, etc) that will allow them to start to ferment (make alcohol).

But what exactly does this look like? We caught up with Gustavo Gonzalez, winemaker at Mira Winery, yesterday and had him give us an overview of “processing the fruit”: