Behind the Scenes

Night Harvest Wine Video: Russian River Valley Chardonnay Grapes

Watching a picking crew night harvest wine grapes is an unbelievable rush. Your eyes fight to follow the hooked knives slicing away at each stem. You hear the grapes shaking on the vines as the workers tug the canes. A tractor engine hums. You hear the men shout for more collection bins. But you can’t see anything–unless you follow the lights.

This is the beauty of night harvest wine. (And one of the four secrets to Chardonnay winemaking.)

We harvest Jordan Russian River Valley Chardonnay vineyards in the coldest hours of the night, so the grapes arrive cold with crisp acids, ideal sugar levels and brighter fruit flavors. Harvest typically begins in early September, though in cooler climate vintages like 2010, 2011 and 2018, Chardonnay harvest can start in late September. The 2010 harvest captured in this video began on September 17 with one small block of Russian River Chardonnay, then crush kicked into high gear on September 29 after a brief heat wave September 24-27.

Thanks to our friends at Cal Plans Vineyards for working so hard to ensure cold, pristine grapes are delivered to our winemakers. We followed this same crew for our night harvest wine video for 2011 Jordan Chardonnay, which includes subtitles explaining the importance of night harvesting these delicate-skinned white wine grapes.

Watch Night Harvest Wine Video

8 Comments
Tweets that mention Night Harvesting Chardonnay grapes, Russian River Valley | The Jordan Journey -- Topsy.com

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jordan Winery, Jordan Winery, Jordan Winery, Erica, Jordan Winery and others. Jordan Winery said: #harvest 2010 video: night harvesting Russian River Valley Chardonnay 9/29: […]

(Reply)
Ron Saikowski

Canopy management is beautiful. Grapes are right at chest height. Perfect bunches for harvesting. What is the harvest yield (tons per acre) grape chemistry, grape maturity, and grape taste. I hope you do not mind me asking

(Reply)
Lisa Mattson

Thank you, Ron. Sorry I haven’t been able to answer all your enology questions. The Vineyard Manager and Winemakers are very busy right now, as you know. 🙂 I will need to wait to gather information from them once things settle down. You can follow our twitter #harvest feed for regular industry updates @jordanwinery. I know that Chardonnay volume is down 25% due to removal of sunburned clusters. Sugars on Chardonnay thus far have been exactly where we want it: 23 Brix. And the fruit tastes great.

(Reply)
Lorri Dennis

Living in a household of TWO menapausal women, I would love to be part of a night harvest during the coldest temp. of the night!

(Reply)
Lisa Mattson

Lorri — I can only imagine! It was very cool and refreshing outside at 4:00 a.m. 🙂

(Reply)
Jenny Watcerson

It was certainly interesting for me to read this post. Thanks for it. I like such topics and everything connected to them. I definitely want to read a bit more on that blog soon. BTW, rather nice design you have here, but how about changing it once in a few months? I mean it 🙂

Jenny Watcerson

(Reply)
Sharron Clemons

Thank you, Ron. Sorry I haven’t been able to answer all your enology questions. The Vineyard Manager and Winemakers are very busy right now, as you know. 🙂 I will need to wait to gather information from them once things settle down. You can follow our twitter #harvest feed for regular industry updates @jordanwinery. I know that Chardonnay volume is down 25% due to removal of sunburned clusters. Sugars on Chardonnay thus far have been exactly where we want it: 23 Brix. And the fruit tastes great.

(Reply)
Night harvest: Alexander Valley Merlot grapes, Garden Creek | The Journey of Jordan Winery

[…] those of you who enjoyed our Russian River Valley Chardonnay night harvesting video, we’ve also captured footage of Alexander Valley Merlot grapes being harvested at night. This […]

(Reply)

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Lisa Mattson

Videographer, photographer, writer and publicist. Find me on weekends trying to capture footage of the elusive Jordan Estate jack rabbits and turkeys.

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