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Fog Crest Vineyard
 
July 25, 2017 | Fog Crest Vineyard

Véraison

As mid to late summer approaches we look forward to one of the most visually beautiful and physiologically important periods in the vineyard - Véraison - the ripening of the grapes.

Véraison at Fog Crest VineyardWhen you visit Fog Crest Vineyard during this time, you’ll begin to notice that the all green grape clusters begin to change color, with the Pinot Noir transitioning to purple, while the Chardonnay changes from green to a translucent, golden color. It’s not just color that changes during Véraison, though. The once firm berries become pliable and give easily when squeezed. This softening of the berries sometimes is the only way to observe Vérasion in some white wine grape varieties.

The bright, warm summer sun provides the grapes with the energy they need to create the sugar that takes them from tart and acidic to more fruity and complex. Jerome and Jim will spend much time walking the vineyard testing and tasting the grapes to determine when they will be ready to pick.

The time it takes from the onset of Véraison to harvest differs among varietals, but that time period is about 6 weeks for both our Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Weather will affect the speed. Extreme heat is the biggest concern for us in California, as it can dramatically accelerate sugars and burn the skins. Véraison also creates wildlife interest, so we will net the Pinot Noir soon after onset to limit bird and raccoon damage.

There is much to do, both in the vineyard and the winery, to get ready for harvest - that crazy, wonderful, hectic and exciting time of year when we bring in the fruit of the vine and see what Mother Nature has given us for the year. 

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