I have helped do various tasks at wineries and vineyards, but one thing I had not had a chance to do was watch a mechanical harvester fully in action during harvest. Other than a brief view of one in action at a Canadian winery, I have only seen them parked during non-harvest season.
I was fortunate to learn Texas Legato was going to have a mechanical harvester used for their 10 acre vineyard and I was invited by co-owner Bill Bledsoe to come watch. As is common in Texas, harvesting was going to start at night when it is cooler, and I had to be there at 4:00 a.m. By the time I arrived, the harvester was already in action in the dark with only the lights from the harvester seen in the distant vineyard.
We rode out to the vineyard to watch the harvester, and then I was asked if I wanted to ride on top of the harvester while it was in action. That was an easy answer. While I was there, they first harvested Malbec and then Petite Sirah.
Like mobile bottling trailers helps wineries handle their bottling needs, the harvester was from Texas Vineyard Management with Rusty Dutton managing it.
I hope you enjoy the video below of night and day harvesting and crushing. Cheers!