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ZD Winery during the crush, Napa Valley - Napa

ZD Winery during the crush, Napa Valley

Visit Napa during the "Crush"

Favorite thing: One of the most exciting times to visit any wine region is during the Crush. This is an approximately eight week period in late summer/early fall when the grapes are harvested, separated from their stems, crushed and strained. This is one of the busiest and most taxing times of year for the wineries. Despite the strain, most wineries readily put out the welcome mat for visitors. Some will even host special events like open houses at their wineries.

Another reason for the taxing nature of the crush season for the vintners is the need to choose the right time to harvest the grapes. The ideal time is extremely precise and the day may differ each year. The harvesters must harvest the grapes when they have exactly the right amount of sugar content.

Fondest memory: In 2004, we visited Napa during the first weekend of September. The Crush had begun in California in August and was still going strong when we were there.

In this picture, taken at ZD Winery on Silverado Trail in Napa Valley, you can see the heavy equipment that is used to separate the grapes from the stems and leaves. As we watched the activity, a ZD employee came out to let us sample the chardonnay grapes. They were delicious! They are sweeter than table grapes because the high sugar content is necessary to insure proper fermentation.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Sep 7, 2004
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