Katy Rutland
July 23, 2014 | What's Up in the Winery | Katy Rutland

What's Up in the Winery: Veraison

Summer is a busy time of year. Families go on vacations, kids get into trouble with their break from school, carnivals take over parks… There is no end to the events that the hot weather inspires. River floating is a popular one here, and the white wines are flying off the shelves in the Tasting Room.


All the heat has started some chemistry in the grapes, too. Forget Valentine’s Day, late July is for lovers. Well. Wine lovers anyway. Around this time of year, the clusters of maturing grapes undergo a seemingly-magical process called “veraison.”

Like much in wine, the word is French and has come to specifically mean the act of grapes turning color. Take a look to the right for a grape that hasn’t turned yet. It’s green and definitely not ripe yet. Much like eating an under-ripe cherry, a grape that is still not the right color would be very tart and acidic with next to no sugar.


Not good for winemaking.


As the season progresses, the sugars increase and the acids change, kicking the skins into color-change mode. Take a look to the left for a grape cluster in mid-change.


According to our Winemaker, Keith Pilgrim, our vines are about two weeks ahead of schedule, and Cabernet Franc is very close to veraison. If it stays hot like last week for the rest of the season, harvest will come early. If it cools off, harvest may be delayed until a normal time.


Want to see this process first hand? Give one of our tours a try! Our estate grapes are predicted to go through veraison in the coming weeks, which means it’s a great time to take our Vineyard Hike. For $15 a person, take a trip through our estate vineyards and see the grapes first hand as they begin to fully ripen. The Vineyard Hike includes a full tasting, as well, so you’ll get to see the process start to finish!


Wait a few weeks longer, after veraison, and the grapes will be ready to taste right off the vine! Late summer and early fall are busy, busy seasons for a vineyard. Come join us and get right in the mix.


Veni, Vidi, Vinum!

Terra Blanca


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