Saturday, July 25, 2009

early veraison

the rains stopped, and everything dried out in July. The vine have stopped putting their energy into growing shoots and have now turned to ripening the fruit. It's so dry, in fact, that grampa has been watering the new vines in lot 12 by hand this week. It amazes me how quickly the situation can flip from soaking wet to drought in a few short weeks. I'm sure the excessively well drained soils have something to do with it.
The red grapes are already beginning to take on color, and the whites are turned from their young green to translucent yellow. All this is happening a good two weeks earlier than last year--quite a surprise to me. This season has been unusually cool and led me to think veraison would be delayed, if anything. It could be the lack of very hot days (95+ degrees) has meant the vines have been able to put energy into the fruit a lot more, rather than shut down because of the heat.
This adds an interesting twist to our expected first commercial harvest this fall: The winery may not be ready to process the grapes if they come in two weeks earlier than expected!

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