Gathering the Harvest at Creation

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Although harvest is undeniably the most joyous time on the annual Creation calendar, it is no secret that handpicking is a painstaking and let’s face it, often backbreaking activity!

Yes, at Creation all our grapes are hand-harvested. It is a well thought out process with a clear strategic plan behind it because when and how the grapes are harvested are crucial factors in determining the quality, structure and character of the wine.

Once Cellarmaster Jean-Claude Martin has identified the point at which the sugar and acid levels are in balance and the grapes have reached phenolic ripeness, he gives the go-ahead and the harvesters move in to get the grapes of the specific vineyard into the cellar as fast as possible.

Why hand-harvesting? Well, first of all the well-trained harvest team knows exactly what to look for in a bunch, this artisanal process is called the triage or selection, ensuring that no leaves and only perfect bunches land in the crates. This precludes the need for sorting tables and additional handling. Another good reason for hand-harvesting is the fact that grape skins are easily bruised. Clearing away the vine leaves, the picker handles each bunch with care, snipping it off some 10 cm away from the stalk and dropping it gently into the crate. Needless to say this requires great concentration.

At Creation the harvest team moves into the vineyards before dawn, while the coolness of the night still envelopes the perfectly ripe fruit. The grapes are placed in small crates to minimise damage and since the cellar is situated only minutes away from the vineyards the grapes are delivered while still cool and fresh. This is but one of the secrets behind Creation consistently producing wines of rare balance, elegance and finesse.