Dates of harvest for each AOC are set by decree, at the time when they display the best ratio of sugar to acid, generally one hundred days after the median date of flowering.
Those grapes destined for the production of Crémant d’Alsace are harvested first, toward the 15th of September. Next harvested are the grapes for AOC Alsace and AOC Alsace Grand Cru. It is not until mid-October that the harvest for Vendanges Tardives and Sélections de Grains Nobles may begin. Picking is mainly done by hand, necessitating around 250 hours of work per hectare, thus requiring 30 people to pick one hectare of vineyards in a day.
The grapes are taken from the vineyards to the presses either in vats or in harvest bins.
Before being crushed, the grapes are de-stemmed (except for Crémant d’Alsace, Vendanges Tardives and Sélections de Grains Nobles) and then pumped into the press.