It's a beautiful time of the year - the grapes are starting to change color at MountainRose Vineyards in Wise! If you've been keeping up with the status of the vineyard, you might remember bud break in April, shortly followed by flowering, and then fruit set in June.
Now we are going into the important stage called veraison, a short stage in the ripening process when the firm, green berries begin to soften and change color. We are just now seeing the first signs of veraison in the vineyard. What does that mean? You will notice the Concord grapes are turning pink and purple. This is a pretty important stage in wine growing, marking the countdown to harvest. In both white and red grapes, the onset of veraison means that the size of the berries are set. Up until now, the berries have been very firm. Once they finish veraison, the berries are pliable and can be squeezed. This elasticity is one of the only ways to observe veraison in white wine grapes.
The interval from veraison to harvest is different for each varietal, and is largely dependent on heat accumulation and crop size. The Concord grapes here go through veraison first and after the majority of the berries change color, it’s about six weeks to harvest, about Mid-September. All of our wine grapes change later than the Concords and some take more than six weeks to ripen for harvest.
What does this mean to you? Once the grapes go through veraison, the vineyard is at its most interesting and beautiful time to visit, photograph and perhaps taste. August through Harvest is a great time to Visit and Taste!