Countdown to Harvest: Veraison in the Vineyard
It is almost August, and we are counting down to harvest!
We started to see signs of veraison in the vineyard almost two weeks ago, but as you can see, the black grape clusters are developing more and more color, the green grapes start to take on a translucent quality. What, exactly, is veraison? The official definition of veraison is the "change of color of the grape berries," however, when we talk about veraison, we are also talking about the onset of ripeness in the berries as well.
As the berries change color, their sugar content increases. As the sugar content increases, the grape's natural acidity starts to decrease. Veraison does not happen uniformly across a vineyard. Each variety has its timeline for developing maturity. There are other processes that the viticulture team chooses that can affect veraison, such as leafing. (If you'd like to learn more about leafing, you can head over to our Facebook page to watch a video of our head winemaker, Jesse Plautz, explain leafing in the vineyard.) Sometimes, winemakers will choose to do a "green harvest," where less ripe bunches are removed, and therefore the energy of the vine is focused in the remaining clusters. As you can see, the winemaking and viticulture team has its work cut out for them as they work to monitor the sugars and acids in the grapes to determine the ideal time to harvest!
Let us hope that mother nature continues to offer us favorable weather as we press on toward harvest!