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What is Veraison?

July 11, 2016

Why do the berries change color during veraison? How long does the process take? We asked our Grower Relations Technician April Nalle to explain in more detail exaclty what veraison is:

Summer brings forth a sense of excitement as well as a reminder that we are now more than midway through the growing season and fast approaching harvest! It is around this time that a big change in the vineyard occurs and berries begin to soften, expand, and change color- where once they were hard and green. This stage is known as veraison and signals the beginning of the ripening process. As the warm summer days stack up, sugar accumulation in the berries increases while acid decreases. Later in the ripening process flavor maturity will also take place with the formation of flavor and aroma compounds. The whole process takes about 6 weeks and the balance between sugar, acid, and flavor compounds will ultimately determine the pick date.

This season, harvest will come a little sooner as veraison is tracking nearly 5 days ahead of historical average. However, if conditions remain ideal, we are looking at another excellent harvest in terms of quality.