It’s only early August, but things are already starting to feel quite a lot like fall around here. From the dark, foggy skies of the past couple of days, to the lower angle of the sun as it crosses overhead, to the increase in traffic on the weekends as crush nears–it’s clear that fall is not far away. Soon the plush green vines and grape leaves will give way to bright yellows, oranges and dark reds–if you haven’t seen it first hand, it’s certainly a sight to behold.
We wrote a few weeks ago about the Napa Valley grapes beginning to show their true colors. Today, in a blog entry about the same topic, Wine Spectator’s James Laube had this to say:
Subtle hints of change were evident this past weekend in Napa. It was as if autumn was sneaking into our midsummer weather.
In the vineyards the red-wine grapes are gaining color. As I biked through Carneros on Saturday, most of the Pinot Noir grapes had turned from green to blackÃ¢â‚¬â€a process known as veraison. Berries begin to develop varietal flavors during veraison, and the beginning of the process is a signal to winemakers that harvest is about 60 days away, depending on the weather.
I noticed that the level of veraison varied from vineyard to vineyard, with mostly green berries still hanging on some vines, and I wondered whether that was due to differences in clones. Anyway, the coloring looked uniform in most of the vineyards.
Personally, we here at The Cork Board aren’t quite ready to let go of the summer just yet!