Wine harvest season in southern Idaho is a race against time

BUHL, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) Fall is upon us, and for vineyards that means it's grape harvest time.

"This time of year is generally a full on press," James Holesinsky, owner of Holesinsky Vineyardand Winery in Buhl said.

He says the harvest season is largely impacted by the weather.

"This time of year you will get some early frost like what you see," Holesinsky said. "But that's fine with us because we've achieved the sugars that we want to for our desired style of wine."

Despite that, freezing temperatures are expected over the next few days as a result of an incoming cold front. It's something that has spurred a sense of urgency in harvesting this years grapes.

"So we're kind of moving along as fast as we can to get everything picked in the next couple of days."

In wine making, picking the grapes at the right time can either make or break you. The harvest dateultimately helps determine the sweetness, acidity, and tannins of of the wine.

"Wine making is 100 percent chemistry, timing, feel, and gut reactions," Holesinsky said. "You have to work on the fly it's like giving birth to child."

The grapes James is crushing today he says will be used to make a rosé. James and his co-worker Gene Thurman are processing grapes to be fermented. Gene has been with James from the beginning at Holesinsky's.

"I hand planted each and everyone of those grapes and watched them grow," Thurman said. "This takes a lot of love and a lot of work."

Even with the added sense of urgency in the face of an incoming cold front, James and Gene both say they'll apply the same amount of diligence in creating the perfect wine.

"Having a smile on peoples face when they taste it is probably the best joy you can get," Holesinsky said.

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