Harvest time: from vine to wine

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In the future, look out for wines produced in 2017. Winemakers say this has been a great year with a sweet grape harvest thanks to a wet winter. (KFSN)

When it comes to wine, whether you're a fan of red or white you're in for a treat as the Valley grape harvest is in full swing.

Boasting 40 acres of grape varietal's, you can find Kings River Winery just outside of Sanger in Fresno County. For owner Robert Bagdasarian and his team of wine makers, the harvest is at its peak for Tempranillo and Barbera grapes.

"We have good color, the maturity is pretty good for this time of year," he said.

Once picked, grapes are moved to the de-stemming process. Each bin holds roughly 850 pounds of grapes. After sorting, it's onto the barrel room where the fermentation process goes on.

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Harvest is in full swing in the Valley and will be running through the beginning of October.

"We hold them in French or American oak barrels, and we hold them two to three years before we actually bottle them," Bagdasarian said.

The 2017 harvest season spans from mid-August through October.

"Things went pretty well," Bagdasarian said. "We had lots of rain which was helpful during that time. The vines were able to take a deep drink for the first time in years."

Bagdasarian says recent cooler conditions have helped promote the sugar and acid formation in the grapes. Hotter temperatures impact the metabolism of the vine.

"The grapes don't mature as fast as they normally would if the weather were, say, under a hundred degrees," he said.

The Sanger native first started his vineyard in 2012, and he planted 12 varietals of wine grapes.

"The Syrah, the Zinfandel, Muscat, Chenin Blanc, Albarinillo those are all harvested already," he said.

You can enjoy the fruits of his labor by the bottle or glass at their tasting room or a number of restaurants in the Valley.
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foodwinewine industryfresno countySanger
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