When are Grapes Ready to be Harvested?
Join us as we celebrate the optimal grape-harvesting time during our Harvest Festival in Bryan, Texas! We have waited all year for the grapes to grow and ripen. Here are some telltale signs to know if grapes are ready to be picked:
Flavor: Does the grape taste sweet? Or is it bitter and acidic? Ideally, a grape harvested for wine should be moderately sweet, but the degree of desired sweetness varies based on the grape type and purpose of grape production. It is important to pick grapes at a time that maximizes each vine’s ideal sweetness level, because unlike many other fruits, grapes stop ripening once removed from their vines. Table grapes, or the grapes that you can buy in the produce section of a store, are larger, sweeter, and have less flavor than grapes grown for wine production.
Color: Grapes initially bud in a greenish color, but hue will vary significantly as they mature, depending on the variety. Common ripe grapes will change from green to purple, red, blue, or white. Below is a picture of the Lenoir grape’s bud break at Messina Hof Estate.
Firmness: Grapes should look large, full, and feel slightly soft when squeezed. There is a delicate balance between allowing the grapes to fill with an ideal amount of juice, and ensuring that they do not over-ripen.
Check out www.messinahof.com/events for more information on Harvest Festival, where you can join the grape picking team, stomp grapes, enjoy our very own wine and food pairings, in addition to much more! Harvest Festival offers fun activities for all ages—you won’t want to miss out!