A vine of grapes in a vineyard

Grape Harvest Season

Have you ever wondered how Tennessee wines are made? As harvest season approaches, continue reading to find out about harvesting grapes and the winemaking process!

Tennessee’s Grape Legacy

Tennessee boasts a rich agricultural heritage, and grape cultivation has been an integral part of its history for centuries. The state’s moderate climate and fertile soil provide an ideal environment for vineyards, making Tennessee home to a thriving wine industry. From the mist-shrouded valleys to the rolling hills, these vineyards produce an impressive array of grapes, each unique in flavor and character. These vineyards produce grapes during the grape harvest season for many wineries across the state, including wineries in Pigeon Forge and Sevierville!

The Art of Grape Harvesting

Grape harvesting is a meticulous process that requires skill and patience. The arrival of autumn signals the ripening of the grapes, and vineyard workers carefully monitor their sugar levels, acidity, and overall flavor development. Once the grapes reach their optimal ripeness, the harvest begins. Skilled hands gently pluck each cluster from the vines, ensuring that only the best grapes make their way into the winemaking process. Tennessee’s grape harvesting season is a testament to the state’s passion for winemaking and the beauty of its fertile lands. From the vineyards that sprawl across the landscape to the joyful festivals that celebrate the harvest, this is a time when the essence of Tennessee truly shines. So, whether you’re a wine connoisseur, a nature enthusiast, or simply someone seeking an unforgettable experience, make sure to immerse yourself in the grape harvesting season in Tennessee. 

The Largest Crush Factory in Tennessee

Did you know that the largest crush factory across all of Tennessee is in Sevierville? Hillside Winery crushes more grapes every harvest season than any other winery in the state! The winery crushed 920,000 pounds of grapes in 2022! The winery receives the grapes in harvest bins, each filled with 110 pounds of grapes. Then, they place the grapes into the hopper machine, which crushes them and releases the juice and pulp. After all the stems and skins are separated, the must is ready to be transferred to the press. The press holds up to 18 tons at a time! This process ensures all seeds and skins in the must are removed to produce juice. After this, the juice is ready to ferment and become the delicious wine you can buy in our stores!

From Grape Harvest to Wine

Harvesting season plays a crucial role as the first step in the winemaking process, setting the foundation for the creation of exceptional wines. The careful timing required to harvest grapes ensures that the grapes contribute their best characteristics to the wine. Winemakers handpick each cluster from the vines to ensure that only the highest quality grapes are used for winemaking. They transport these carefully harvested grapes to the winery, where they undergo further processing, including crushing, fermentation, and aging. The attention to detail during the grape harvesting season is instrumental in capturing the essence of the vineyard and ultimately shaping the character and quality of the finished wines.

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