“Do these grapes have a problem? They are changing their color not uniformly, but berry by berry!” asked my friend, pointing me the vines in veraison. It was his first time to see the veraison. This is one of the most spectaculous times of the vineyard, when the berries start to change their color from green to yellow or red. Although they are sharing the same rachis and they are a member of the same bunch, they change their color individually.
Throwing back to my last veraison experience, Veraison in Bordeaux started in end of July-beginning of August for Cabernet Sauvignon. Of course having a complete different climate here, the veraison started earlier: Cabernet Sauvignon in Napa showed its first red colored berry in second week of July. These dates make easier the comparison of the vintages for the viticulturists so they can keep up the progression of the season. According to Napa Vintners, last year the veraison started in third week of July for Cabernet Sauvignon. With these dates we can predict the harvest date, but all depends on the temperature in the following days, so we will wait for mother nature to collaborate with us!
In a small parenthesis, I would like to mention why I just wrote about Cabernet Sauvignon. Because, all the phenologic stages of grapevine, including veraison, are variety depended. In order to classify the varieties according to phenologic stages a standard variety is used: Chasselas. Chasselas ripening date, which is generally 13th of August, is used to compare the average ripening date of the other grape. Cabernet Sauvignon generally ripens 3.5 weeks after Chasselas. (This classification, more than helping to decide on harvest date, it is used to decide the suitability of the varieties to different soils and climates. Let me cover this topic in another article.)
As always, I could not stay away from the vineyard in this picturesque period. I have made daily observations in Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. I have chosen 4 bunches which will be my special bunches for the veraison and I have witnessed their transformation day by day, from 18 of July until 2 of August. Here I am sharing the photos, so you can see the color change which occurs in different berries randomly.
So as a tradition from last year, I wish a happy veraison and maturing period to all the grapes all around the world!
All images © 2016 by Nedret Neslihan IVIT. All rights reserved.