Green Harvest

Definition - What does Green Harvest mean?

Green Harvest is a crop thinning method used to decrease the crop yields and improve the flavor concentration of the remaining grape bunches. In this process, unripe grapes are trimmed so that the nutrients reach the ripe bunches and increase their quality. This form of crop thinning allows winemakers to create wine with the characteristics they want.

Green harvesting is usually done around the time when wine grapes change from green, hard and unripe to soft golden and ripe. Despite many viticulture efforts such as pruning, the weather of a particular year can alter the yield and quality of grapes. Green Harvesting is a method used to combat challenges produced by weather inconsistencies by managing the yield at a much later time period in the year.

WineFrog explains Green Harvest

Green Harvest is a relatively modern technique, which is usually applied to produce fine wine. Different bunches of grapes in the grape vines ripen differently, and ripening depends on the energy and nutrient providing capacity of a particular vine. The process of removing the unripe bunches of grapes while they are still green helps the vine provide all its energy and nutrients to the remaining grape bunches. As a result, the remaining grape bunches develop a lot faster and are of higher quality than normally grown grapes after harvesting.

After green harvesting, the quality of the grapes increases because numerous mature flavor compounds develop in the process. If green harvesting does not take place, then even a healthy and vigor vine can produce unripe grapes. In some locations, the weather eliminates the need for green harvesting due to infrequent rainfalls, gravely soil or fragile climates. Given that excess production of grapes does not necessarily have many uses, they often have to be sold at incredibly low prices. So, wine producers benefit greatly through green harvesting but contributing towards the production of fine wines. Vendange verte is the French terminology used to describe green harvest.

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