11 Jan 2012

Véraison is the term we use to describe the onset of ripening. The official definition of veraison is "change of color of the grape berries" and you can just make out (if you look very closely at the bunch in the photo above) the first change of colour in a berry as it loses its green appearance and starts to turn red. Veraison marks the transition from berry growth to berry ripening--these Pinot Noir berries won't grow much larger now but they will change colour and begin to lose their acidity while increasing their sugar content. 
It will take a few weeks for the whole bunch to change colour. When that has happened, we reckon that harvest will occur in another forty days or thereabouts. So we should be picking this Pinot Noir in early March.
The vines are growing well although the canopies are not large and we have plucked some leaves from the Pinot Noir vines to allow better air flow to reduce disease pressure. This has increased the bunch exposure--good if the weather remains "normal", not so good if we get a heatwave or even a hailstorm...more on that in the next post....