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Today, the harvest at Terre di Marfisa has officially begun!

A tradition that has brought us together every year from ancient times to today.

The earliest evidence dates back to 10,000 B.C. and comes from the Fertile Crescent, which includes present-day Palestine, Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon. In these areas, ancient ruins nearly ten millennia old still show depictions of grape harvesting.

Here, the grape harvest was part of a true religious ceremony of thanksgiving to the gods.

The celebration of wine and grapes in Ancient Rome can be traced back to the Vinalia Rustica, a festival in honor of Jupiter. This event marked the time when farmers began to harvest their crops with a knife-like tool. The grapes were then placed in small containers before being poured into large vats where they were stomped with feet to produce a juice known as must, which would ferment into wine. During the harvest, all other activities were suspended as the entire family gathered to work in the fields. This tradition underscores the social aspect of the harvest, meant to be a time for celebration and spending time with loved ones.

Traditionally, the grape harvest takes place in September. However, the actual start time can vary depending on the production area, climate, and the type of wine to be produced.

In the past, there was no scientific approach to determining the right time to start the grape harvest. Viticulturists relied solely on their experience and knowledge of the grapes, through repeated tastings. Today, while experience remains crucial, there are also many scientific tools that allow for precisely determining the degree of grape ripeness.

Ripening, in fact, involves changes in the chemical-physical characteristics of the grape berry: for example, an increase in sugar concentration and a decrease in acids. These parameters can be measured with tools that can define three different types of ripening:

1. Technological Ripening: As ripening approaches, the sugar concentration increases while the acid concentration decreases.

2 – Phenolic Ripening: The riper the grape, the more it is able to release phenols, which are responsible for the color and structure of the wine.

3 – Aromatic Ripening: This refers to the concentration of aromatic compounds, which progressively increases during the ripening process.

In general, grapes reach their ideal degree of ripeness when the three types of ripening align, as during this same time period, the grapes are able to fully express their potential.