WARNING: If you’re in the wine business, this is only VIT 101. This blog story has been created for people just learning about vineyards. Please judge accordingly.

Vit 101 ~ 9 ~ Veraison

VIT 101: On June 20, our cluster had absolutely no red pigment coming  into the grapes. Slowly, but surely, the color is now changing its tune as veraison is setting in. The terroir of this vine is unusual.

  1. It’s a volunteer.
  2. It’s against the house, at our front door’s entrance.
  3. It’s protected from most air currents and wind.
  4. So, it’s behind other grape vines that are located in the wide open.

I was reminded of this yesterday as I saw the image of a wine company bringing in Pinot Noir for making sparkling wine. These grapes don’t have the brix to support any such activity… like being tasted with pleasure.


Prefix “ver” – German – to do or to become what the stem intends

“raison” ~ French – reason

“Veraison” is, therefore, the onset of ripening; and, our cluster that we’ve been watching is finally taking that step.

I’ve not color enhanced this at all… You’re seeing the pure coloration to date (July 23, 2015).

My Facebook friend Rita Connor wrote: Rita Conner Beautiful mix of color.

I responded with: Isn’t it, Rita? We’ll now watch it every couple of days. This is a very exciting part of viticulture.

Next week for Friday’s blog, it will be a day-by-day image, showing how time and color sets in.

Facebook Friends

Sean Piper of Napa Vintage Wines: This is Contra Costa old vine, head trained, dry farmed, Zinfandel. Unedited.

Jeff Stai of Twisted Oak Winery: We are in veraison, to different degrees, depending on variety and block. Anywhere from 75 percent for the Tempranillo (which you would expect), to just 10 percent for the Graciano (which always lags).

Others in this series:


VIT 101 ~ 7 ~ Cover Crops

VIT 101 ~ 6 ~ The Vineyard


VIT 101 ~ 4 ~ Bunny Boxes

VIT 101 ~ 3 ~ TENDRILS

VIT 101 ~ 2 ~ VINES and DISEASES

VIT 101 ~ 1 ~ A Perspective