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Véraison comes late to Napa Valley grapes [PHOTOS]

by TrevR on August 4, 2010

Every Summer the wine grapes grown in the Napa Valley go through a process called véraison whereby the ‘berries’ go from a growth stage to a ripening stage.

This year, veraison has come a bit later than usual due to the super mild Summer weather we’ve experienced. Mornings have seen us largely socked-in with fog with temperatures hovering in the low 50s. The sun generally breaks through around mid-day, but the overall warm-up has been on the cooler side (lots of 70s and 80s), leading to a slower ripening process for the valley’s most important crop.

While not an issue now, the cool Summer and slower ripening could be cause for concern as Summer turns to Fall and the threat of rain or even colder temperatures increases.

Here are a few photos from today showing the véraison process in action in the Oak Knoll District.

Wine grapes enter veraison in Napa Valley's Oak Knoll District: August 2010

Wine grapes enter veraison in Napa Valley's Oak Knoll District: August 2010

[techtags: Napa, Napa Valley, wine, winery, napa valley grapes, veraison]

About the Author

has written 716 posts on The Cork Board. He was born and aged in the Napa Valley and has a passion for wine, writing and social media, which led him to co-found this blog in early 2007. Follow him on Twitter @TrevR.

  • Matrixband

    I am not an expert, so..why is cooler weather a “concern”. I mean I have heard cooler weather allows more complex ripening, the grapes are on the vine longer. Are sugars lower? Is any of this bad?

  • Anonymous

    @Matrixband the only “concern” is that slower ripening times, if they become extended (many are saying veraison is now three weeks to a month behind “normal” here in the valley) push harvest further into the Fall, where even cooler (potentially cold) weather and rain are more likely. Cold (freezing) temps and/or extended rainfall while the grapes are on the vine can become an issue.

    For now, nothing to be alarmed about, but certainly something everyone around here has their eyes on…

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