From Berry Growth to Berry Ripening

Aug 18, 2018 | Vintage Journal

We are well into Veraison here at Winderlea Vineyard.  Veraison, or color change, is the transition from berry growth to berry ripening.  As with many things in life, the French have a great word for it (don’t believe me, look up glissade and Pigéage).  But that is an aside.  Up until now, vines have been busy with the cell division and cell growth required to make grape clusters.   After Veraison, the vine’s energy transitions  to ripening grapes and from now on we’ll see the accumulation of sugar and the gradual loss of acid.  Of course, grapevines don’t care about winemaking.  Their phenology is directed toward preservation – growing a seed and protecting that seed, with acid and bitter flavors, until that seed is mature and capable of producing another grapevine.  Then the accumulation of sugar and loss of acid makes the grape attractive to birds and other animals to eat, eventually resulting in dropping the seed in a place where it can grow.  Lucky for us, somebody discovered that this process can also be used to make wine.