Late harvest wines are made with grapes that were left on the vine longer to increase their sugar content. These grapes are usually picked in late fall (a month or two after regular harvest) after they have dehydrated causing their sugar to concentrate. Any grape can be harvested late in the season, but whites like Riesling, Muscat and Vidal tend to adapt more successfully to the process.
Most late harvest wines are vinified as sweet wines, and the best of them will show balanced alcohol content and acidity to prevent them from feeling cloying. For a perfect example of these luscious wines try Castello Banfi “Florus” Moscadello from Piemonte, Italy, or Royal Tokaji Wine Company late harvest Furmint from Hungary. Accompany them with a fresh fruit tart, a strong aged cheese, or just as an after-dinner treat.
Author: Maytte Rivera