September is the period when the grape harvest is in full swing. While grapes are often harvested during the day, the Verdejo grapes (as well as several other grape varieties) that make this wine region famous are being harvested by night.
The reason for this is that the skins of the grapes which are being harvested mechanically have more chance to burst than when they are handpicked. When this happens during the day, oxidation takes place because of the high temperatures. When the grapes are harvested at night, this process can be avoided. Furthermore the enzymatic activity is stable when temperatures are around 15 ºC, which is also needed to preserve the freshness and grape aromas.
Great news for wine lovers who are eager to see this process from close by! Nowadays there are numerous wineries which invite tourists not only to come look at the harvest during the day, but also by night!
A winery located in Rueda which offers such a harvest experiences by night is Emina Rueda. This experience includes a visit to the winery and gardens, the harvest by night and a workshop grape tasting, wine tasting of 3 wines and a tasting of local products. For those who would like to include accommodation, the winery offers this experience as well with a night in the Parador of Tordesillas including breakfast.