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Harvest Planning

  For winemakers, grape harvest is a period of intense activity. Important decisions and preparations need to happen well in advance of crush day in order for things to go smoothly. These decisions include ordering or picking the grapes, obtaining a crusher, selecting the right yeast, etc. Beyond these decisions, your crush area, winery and equipment needs to be checked, cleaned and prepared. Whether you are making wine from grapes for the first time, or a seasoned winemaker who just needs to organize his or her thoughts, the following is a checklist to guide you through your pre-harvest decisions. If you prepare adequately for harvest, you will still be busy, but the only thing under real pressure will be your grapes.   1. Start a Crush Log Home winemaking is where it is today because those before us kept good notes. Pick up a notebook, and keep daily records of everything from crush to bottling. 2. Select and Order Grapes Unless you are harvesting your own grapes, the quality of your fruit is in the hands of those bringing it