Ripe fruit

Chasselas grapes, nearly ripe, Tartegnin in canton Vaud 30 September 2014

Chasselas grapes, nearly ripe, Tartegnin in canton Vaud 30 September 2014 – brown areas are the equivalent of freckles, bronzed by the sun, and little brown specks are due to copper, used sparingly, even by organic growers

The grape harvest has begun in Switzerland and, as the author of the first book in English on Swiss wines in 20 years (Vineglorious! Switzerland’s Wondrous World of Wines), I’m out in the vineyards talking to growers.

This week’s lesson comes from Philippe Bovet, one of the country’s top wine producers, who insists that people pick fruit in general, and grapes in particular, too soon.

The only way to tell if grapes are at peak ripeness is to taste them daily.

Some growers in canton Vaud are picking their Chasselas grapes this week, but for Bovet, that’s probably 10 days too early.

The skin should melt in your mouth and not leave a slightly bitter aftertaste. As they ripen, these grapes become more translucent when the sun shines through them.

Le meilleur moyen de savoir si les raisins sont véritablement mûr c’est de les goûter tous les jours maintenant. Pour vigneron-encaveur Philippe Bovet le Chasselas a besoin d’encore  10 jours dans la région, et les meilleurs vins, riches en arômes, viendront des raisins qui sont vendangés en ce moment là.

vineglorious-cover

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