Veraison in the Vineyard
August 8, 2018
Veraison. This is the term given to the phase when grapes begin to change color, soften, accumulate sugars, and metabolize acids. It seems to sneak up on us every year. As these first signs of ripening appear, we begin texting photos to our fellow VT winegrowers to see if they’re seeing the same signs in their vineyards. It has been an uncharacteristically hot and dry summer and we are seeing veraison in our vineyard earlier than ever before.
The red grapes change appearance quickly – one day a cluster has just one or two light purple grapes and a week later, the full cluster is entirely purple. White grapes go through this process as well but the visual changes are less pronounced as they change from tiny, green balls to plump, golden orbs.
We begin to taste the grapes to see how the flavors are developing. We start to feel like we’ve done a good job keeping them disease-free. We hope the rain holds out until after harvest. We hold our breath.
Veraison is exciting and perhaps a little anxiety-inducing. It means that harvest is in sight and we know we have long days and long weeks ahead of us. Are we ready? Oh man, we hope so!
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