A glass of wine in hand, you've probably pondered over the art of winemaking. While the traditional harvest season is usually between August and October, did you know that some vineyards wait until November to harvest their grapes? Yes, grape harvest in November is a fascinating process, producing some of the world's most exquisite wines. So, VinoVossers, let’s celebrate this extraordinary tradition, by discovering a remarkable selection of late harvest wines.

Understanding the Late Harvest

The late harvest is a winemaking process where vineyards allow their grapes to stay on the vine beyond the regular harvesting period. By doing so, the grapes continue to ripen and accumulate more sugar, creating a sweeter wine. This process is often used to produce dessert wines, known for their rich, sweet, and complex flavors. Late harvest wines include renowned varieties like Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Semillon.

The Risk and Reward of Late Harvesting

Choosing to participate in grape harvest in November is a gamble. The longer grapes are left on the vine, the higher the risk of them being damaged by weather, birds, or disease. However, the reward can be immense. Late harvest wines are often more aromatic and flavorful, providing a unique tasting experience. They also tend to have a higher alcohol content due to the increased sugar levels.

Examples of Late Harvest Wines

One of the most famous examples of late harvest wines is the German 'Eiswein'. Grapes for this wine are left on the vine until the first frost, usually in November, and then quickly harvested while still frozen. This results in a wine that is incredibly sweet and concentrated, yet balanced by high acidity. Another example is the French 'Sauternes', a sweet wine made from Semillon grapes affected by 'noble rot', a beneficial fungus that shrivels the grapes and concentrates the juice.

Grapes with Botrytis, also called “Noble Rot” from Tokaj. (Photo: Kikelet Pince, tokajkikelet.hu)


Grape harvest in November is not a common practice, but it's one that produces some truly unique and delicious wines. The late harvest season offers a different perspective on winemaking, showcasing the dedication of vineyards willing to risk it all for the perfect bottle of wine. For wine enthusiasts looking to try something different, a late harvest wine could be just the ticket. Visit www.vinovoss.com to explore our selection of late harvest wines and discover the magic of November grape harvesting for yourself.

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