Harvest your vines when the grape bunches are sweet to taste. This ensures that there are enough sugars for the yeast to convert into alcohol. The grape bunches will be small and compact - much smaller than edible grapes - with each grape reaching approximately the size of a small marble. However, they will be packed full of flavour.
At Llanerch, our grapes ripen from late September to late October, depending on the variety and location in the vineyard. The grapes may start to lose some of their colour shrink, or start to turn black (like a raisin). These grapes are fine to include, however avoid any grapes that may have formed mould as these may taint your wine.
Harvest by holding the grape bunch and cutting the bunch off by the stem using a pair of sharp, clean secateurs. Collect in a clean bucket, and if processing into wine press the grapes and start the wine making process immediately.
If you have sprayed any chemicals or pesticides on your vines, ensure that you have followed the instructions on the packet so that the product is safe for human consumption and make sure to check and follow the harvest interval period.
Good luck, and enjoy your home-grown wine!