In California, everything in nature is coming early for 2015, as regards growth of plants. This has been the winter from hell for most of the country, but we’ve been really blessed in the Golden State. Bud break has happened: this is when a grape vine’s tiny nodes begin to burst forth with the year’s entire potential. If you look at a node under a microscope, you can see the layers of the year’s leaves, tendrils, and berry clusters. It’s one of life’s miracles. Soil and weather, trellising and sun exposure will then take over and deliver the goods for that year, coming from the shoot coming off the cane… And they’ve already begun their growth.

This is a pictorial study of veraison that I did in 2006. It’s the process of one singular cluster going through its entire cycle for that year: from tiny green berries, to plum fruit, and then to tiny shriveled grapes. The birds seemed to have found them in these finals days; so I also had a nasty cluster of buzzing flies. (Nature does what it does.)

  • From green in the beginning (June 28, 2006), when they were full of tartaric acid
  • To deep purple (October 28, 2006), when the sugar levels reached about 25 degrees brix
  • Headed toward dried out fruit (November 24, 2006), that are somewhat escaping the birds looking for a yummy lunch
  • December 7, very few leaves are left on the vine, and those that are are a Dijon yellow
  • December 17, almost every berry is somewhat shriveled
  • January 3, 2007, it’s over for this cluster

I covered my grapes in most years, to avoid the birds poking and pecking; but this year, I left this cluster alone to see what nature would naturally do with these juicy Zin berries…

Update on October 14, 2006… We had a natural predator, Ladies and Gentlemen!

June 28, 2006

July 16, 2006

July 30, 2006

Aug. 9, 2006

Aug. 16, 2006

Aug. 23, 2006

Aug. 26, 2006

Sept. 2, 2006

Sept. 9, 2006

Sept. 24, 2006

Oct. 14, 2006

Oct. 28, 2006

Nov. 14, 2006

Nov.24, 2006

Dec. 7, 2006

Dec. 16, 2006

Dec. 23, 2006

Jan. 3, 2007