Véraison is undauntedly one of the most beautiful times to visit a vineyard. During this period our grapes change color. After a long period of growth our grapes have reached the point where they need to start ripening.
Véraison signals the start of ripening and helps us understand when the grapes need to be harvested. During this transition period the white grape varieties turn from green into golden yellow and red grape varieties turn from green into purple. Once the color has set in then we know our grapes will be ready to harvest approximately in 5-7 weeks.
Véraison might come later or earlier for some grape varieties. The temperature, sun exposure and altitude of a vineyard can also influence the time our grapes enter véraison. For example, our Pano Arodes vineyard is divided into 6 blocks and there is a 60 meters height difference from the last and top block. The highest block gets a bit more sun exposure and because of that we see the first color change happening in this block.
During ripening the grapes become soft, the acidity levels drop, the sugar levels rise and the aroma compounds are formed.
Last year we saw the first signs of véraison at our Shiraz and Mataro vineyards around 30th of July. That was almost 10 days later than usual. This year véraison came earlier. The warm temperature and the lack of rain seem to push véraison to start earlier. But of course this might be offset if we have cool nights with a lot of humidity. The only thing we can do now is wait for nature to make its choice.