Veraison in the Vineyards
Summer is here and quickly on its way out! While we will be missing the Summer sun and gorgeous weather (…is the weather ever really anything but gorgeous in Santa Barbara?), we won’t be left empty handed! Starting at about the middle of the season, this lovely miracle of Veraison begins to happen in the vineyards and lets us know that it’s almost time for harvest.
So now, what exactly is Veraison? Well in French, the literal translation of Véraison means “the onset of the grape ripening.” It’s a process involving the chemical structures and sugars changing and preparing the grape into full maturity, causing the grapes to transition in color. Chardonnay grapes go from a bright green, to a calm and warm yellow, and the red varietals make a more drastic change to their deep purple or ruby colors.
Inside the grape, chlorophyl begins to break down, new organic pigments begin to form, and tart acids in the pulp of the grape begin to soften. Tannin in the seeds and stems begin to mature and the grapes natural sugar levels begin to rise. Not only is Veraison a visually appealing process, it’s the “Heads up, Harvest is just around the Corner!” It’s usually about six weeks after the start of the Veraison process , the grapes are ready to pick and begin their journey into the winemaking process!