Our last installment left off in April the vines had been trained and trellised, bud break was impending. Fast forward to June and our lovely little vines have flowered. Vineyard teams work through vines row by row and adjusting the vines and trimming off any unnecessary foliage to allow for optimal air flow and sunshine.
As the summer days wear on and the grapes begin to grow the next critical step in the vineyard is called green harvesting. Any grape bunches that may not reach full ripeness are cut off, this allows the vine to focus on ripening the remaining fruit fully.
After green harvesting, the fruit left on the vine continues to ripen and then a magical and beautiful time called Verasion happens! Verasion is the colour change of grapes that usually happens in late July/early August. The small, hard and rather acidic grapes swell and sweeten, white wine grapes turn from green to golden, or more translucent. Grapes destined to become red wine change from green to a range of blues and purples to nearly black. Verasion takes roughly a week, ripening has begun!
From here, the vines kick it into high gear ripening the grapes. Generally 30-70 days after verasion the grapes will be ready for harvest. Keep in mind: harvest time depends on a lot of factors. Each varietal ripens differently, the temperature and weather during this ripening period can accelerate or slow down the process and the winemaker’s intended style for the finished wine can also dictate harvesting.
So now, we wait – and visit, if you can, late July and August are beautiful times to visit wine country!