Mid-July is an amazing time in Napa Valley! With harvest on the horizon, this time of year brings about an exciting change in the vineyard: véraison. If you’ve been to the valley in the past few weeks, you may have noticed the grapes starting to change from green to purple. This process is called véraison and is indicative of ripening grapes.
Here are the top five things you need to know about véraison in the vineyard:
- During the process of véraison, white varietal grapes develop a golden hue while red wine grapes turn red or purple.
- The grapes don’t just change colors during this process, but they also increase in volume, weight and sugar content.
- Véraison occurs over a long period of time and each grape variety ripens at a different rate.
- White wine grapes ripen earlier than red wine grapes, meaning harvest always begins with our white varietals like Sauvignon Blanc.
- When véraison is finished, our winemaking team will test the grapes to determine when they are ready to be picked. While winemaker Sara Fowler is looking for data such as sugar, pH and acidity levels, she is also looking for specific flavors in each grape variety.
Now that you know a thing or two about véraison, head to Napa Valley and observe it for yourself!