With summer winding down and fall fast approaching, Wollersheim Winery and Distillery has officially completed the annual grape harvest in Wisconsin.
Despite a late round of rain, the excellent growing season provided us with a beautiful crop of fruit this year. The berries were healthy and produced wonderful sugars, thanks to a short drought and ample amounts of Wisconsin sunshine. While it is too soon to say for certain, these critical environmental factors are the first steps in producing an exceptional vintage.
“Overall it was a great year,” Philippe Coquard, Wollersheim’s Winemaker stated. “The drought in July and early August was good for us. It gave us a deep and concentrated color and a lot of intensity in the wines. That’s a good sign for aging potential.”
In total, Wollersheim harvested nearly 80 tons of fruit including six separate grape varietals from our very own hillsides and received an additional 50 tons from our partnered Wisconsin growers.
While the commotion of harvest has now passed, the winemaking process is now in full swing. The coming months will bring many tasks, such as constant monitoring, testing, tasting and bottling as we empty the barrels and tanks from 2019 to make room for the new vintage.
“As far as winemaking season goes, we are about half through,” Philippe added. “Including all of the other custom grown grapes and juice we have somewhere around 120,000 gallons of wine fermenting right now, so even though we are done with harvest, there’s still a lot of work to be done.”
The only grapes that are yet to be harvested are a field of St. Pepin grapes, which are reserved for winter harvest and Ice Wine, if conditions allow. Allowing the berries to freeze on the vine concentrates the juice, resulting in an ultra-decadent dessert wine.
For more information, videos, and photos from Wollersheim’s annual grape harvest, check us out on Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube.