A: For me, it is seeing that what is scheduled to be harvested is harvested in a timely manner and delivered to the winery: making sure that what is ready has its place on the schedule. I monitor the remaining fields to let the winemakers know of any changes in condition that may affect their decision on what to bring in and when.
A: You look at them for their color, taste them and measure the sugar, acid and ph. You can look at the seeds to see if they are all brown or still green also. No one factor is the critical one. It is how they all look as a whole that decides in the end. There is usually an ideal range for each of the factors, which defines the ideal grape. However, over the 40 years of doing this, that ideal grape usually changes; which is to say, there is no actual ideal grape.
A: The winemaker always makes the final harvest call. The winemaker's skill is in picking at the best time for that grape that year and making the right moves in the winery to bring out the best and minimize the worst that each pick has to offer. And no one can be sure whether it was the right call or not. In the end, if the wine is good and the customer is happy and comes back for more, then something was done right.
A: Unknown or excellent, take your pick. The first is fact; the second is expectation.
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