Jeff’s Corner 6-22-17

Greetings Once Again,

I first posted this story last year in early July.  I like it because it reinforces the cyclical nature of our lives in rhythm with the vines, and I really like the photo simply because it’s really pretty.

Veraison began last week in the Aglianico block by the winery, and Sunday Clint (our vineyard manager extraordinaire) and I found some clusters just beginning in the Montepulciano block by the Wine Club Patio.  Veraison began earlier this year due to the warm winter and early bud break in March.  So, here we go from Jeff’s Corner 7-12-16:

My favorite time in the vineyard is about to begin, and this photo pretty much tells the entire story why.  I took this snap shot in our Montepulciano block July 10, 2013.  These grapes are going through what is called “veraison”.

Veraison (vay-ray-ZON) marks the turning point in the two cycles of a grape clusters’ journey to harvest.  The first cycle is a growth phase, and ends when the grape reaches full size and cell division in the skin stops.  During the growth cycle all grapes (red and white) are the same color (the lima bean green you see) and are hard (like a marble) in texture.

Once the grapes reach full size, the ripening phase begins with veraision, which translates from French as “change of color of the grape berries”.  They also begin to soften and become pliant when squeezed.

For the next six weeks or so, the sugars will increase as the acids decrease, and harvest should occur in late July when the sugars are about 25% of the juice.

I got lucky with the sunlight in this pic; the kaleidoscope of color and light is stunning.  It reminds me of these inspiring lines from William Blake’s “Auguries of Innocence”:

“To see a world in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower”