Without viticulture there is no wine production and without harvest there is no crop. The harvest usually lasts throughout the month of September, which in Greek is also known as “Harvester”. However, in countries with very hot climates, such as that of Cyprus, the harvest starts at the end of August. Harvesting has always held – and still does – a dominant position in the agricultural economy of our island, and even more so in the case of Krasochoria (wine villages). The grape harvest is perhaps the most important time in the wine production process, as it largely determines the outcome of the toil of the entire wine season.

Determining the time of harvest is very important for the quality of the wine that will follow. If the grapes are harvested earlier, increased acidity, lower alcohol content, the possibility of plant aromas and flavours and particularly bitter tannins in red wines can be observed. Delayed harvesting, on the other hand, can produce wines with low acidity, higher alcohol content or sweetness, and lower tannins.

The location of the variety in the vineyard, the grape variety itself, the style of wine to be produced, the availability of manpower and the weather are determinant factors in the grape ripening process. The main signs of ripeness of the vine are the colour of the fruit, the stems and seeds of the grapes, the higher sugar content, which renders them juicier, the texture of the seeds, and – of course – the taste of the fruit.

The right time to harvest arrives when the fruit acquire the desired colour and aroma and the right ratio of sugars and acids. This is the “technological maturity”, which corresponds to the moment when the grape of a variety gives juice with a suitable chemical composition, for the type of wine that is to be produced. All the above are ascertained by representative inspections carried out in the vineyard, during the period of ripening and harvesting of the grapes.

During the harvest, the grapes are carefully collected, by hand or mechanically. Then, without unnecessary delay and without straining the fruit, they are transported to the winery. Their fast and tireless transport to the place of further processing ensures the quality of wine.

In the Greek countryside, harvesting period, along with the pressing of grapes that follows it, is one of the most important agricultural works and an occasion for celebrations, accompanied by traditional customs. Fruit-filled baskets, an image full of the toil of the season, but at the same time an image of inspiration and pleasure, are just the beginning of rewarding the efforts of all those who contribute to the arduous process of viticulture and winemaking.

For this reason, but also because “wine is made in the vineyard”, make the most of the time we are going through and visit our winery and vineyards in Omodos, to enjoy even more our tours, wine tastings and wine drinking, in the lush, green vineyards of Oenou Yi – ktima Vassiliades winery, which are now ready to offer their precious fruit to all of us.