September, October and November are important months in the life of both vineyards and wine. September sees the start of the harvest and leaf-fall stages, during which the vines start to replenish their reserves. Then, in December, the vines begin to fall dormant until the bud-breaking stage in spring.
Not all producers, however, start harvesting their grapes at the same time, and this is even true for vineyards in the same area! Harvesting is governed by a range of factors, including ripeness, exposure, weather, region, and much more. This is why the harvesting stage may run from September to November.
November is an extremely delicate month because the arrival of cold weather puts vine health at risk. One such risk is “leaf-drop”, a disease that attacks the foliage and causes premature defoliation.
Nevertheless, it is the perfect time to visit wineries. Producers have just finished harvesting their crop, and while they, too, are recuperating their strength, they can devote their time to welcoming visitors, giving vineyard tours, and recounting their winery’s history.
November also sees the publication of various wine-rankings and the awarding of scores and acknowledgements, just as the post-summer market gets underway.
Both wine and wineries are bubbling with activity!