Veraison! It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Well, maybe not as wonderful as Christmas, but for winemakers, it’s a close second. For anyone who does not know, here is the fun stuff that Wikipedia has to say about it. “Véraison is a viticulture (grape-growing) term meaning “the onset of ripening”. It is originally French, but has been adopted into English use. The official definition of veraison is “change of color of the grape berries.” Veraison represents the transition from berry growth to berry ripening, and many changes in berry development occur at veraison.”
As I have been walking through the vineyards in the past week, I have seen signs of Veraison in almost every block. The Confidant Pinot Noir blocks are nearly completely through Veraison, with only about 10% of the berries showing their old green color. The Syrah at Confidant is holding on to its youth and is showing no signs yet, but for this later ripening varietal it’s a bit early still. At the Acquaintance vineyard the signs of Veraison are in every block. The Cabernet Franc is leading the way here with around 20% of the berries showing their red color. The Malbec is close behind, and the remaining blocks are just showing the first signs. The white wine blocks are all pushing their way through as well. There is a little less “fanfare” with whites, because of the absence of the red colors, but they do begin to turn a bit more yellow and translucent. The Sauvignon Blanc is leading the way among the whites some of the berries actually being sweet enough to eat! This makes walking the blocks way more enjoyable, and gives the birds a bit of competition in being the first to taste what the new vintage will bring. Veraison is an exciting time because it makes all of us aware that harvest will be coming soon, and reminds me that I better get prepared for it! Cheers!