“Yellow” stands for the autumn season, the decision when the grapes are so ripe (and slightly yellow) that they are good to come off the vines.
By now we have spent time taking the leaves off on both sides of the vines, exposing the grapes to more wind and sun. It looks pretty, I thought, one arc of grapes after the other. But it immediately leads to even more work, and this next step is difficult to understand for novices like us: We are cutting perfectly good grapes off to make sure that those that remain will end up with all the space, nutrients and, eventually, flavour, they need.
The goal for the harvest: Stay clear of the mouldy ones, only pick totally ripe grapes. Ok, we can’t predict the taste, but it’s a rough rule-of-thumb for higher quality; might translate as: ‘as little sulphur as possible’, ‘a good balance of natural sugar levels and acidity’ and ‘a good fermentation’. If it all works out, we don’t have to add sugar. But most of all, we hope for a tasty wine.
Go back to the intro, “A Year in Colours”, here.