May only the best grapes win. Winemakers will often say that “the wine is made in the vineyard,” meaning the attentive, daily care they give the vines and grapes directly determines the quality of the wine. You can’t make a silk purse from a sow’s ear, in other words. By the time all those painstakingly grown and cared-for grapes are brought in to be destemmed, crushed, fermented, and made into wine months or years from the date of harvest, you can bet the winemaker will not skip the sorting table.
What Happens at the Sorting Table?
First the student dons a hat, which can talk and somehow knows what House—oops, wrong Sorting. By the time the grapes reach the sorting table, it’s likely they have already gone through a preliminary selection process in the vineyard where harvesters will have discarded rotten, raisined, or unripe grapes.