In the last few weeks we have vineyards in the Yakima Valley beginning the process of veraison. The French term “veraison” is traditionally used to designate the period when the grape berries change from green to their expected varietal color. For me, veraison is the plants telling us to make the winery ready for the coming harvest.
We saw the first signs of veraison 3 weeks ago, when very hot sunny weather pushed the plants to grow and develop rapidly. However, some much needed cooling came through the area, giving the plants a break from the rapid start and slowing progress towards harvest. Today we are at roughly 25% veraison. Meaning, 25% of the grapes on an average cluster have changed color. Once the plants get to 80% veraison we expect harvest to happen 4 to 6 weeks later dependent on varietal.
These photos show plants in our vineyards just before and during the veraison process. And while these photos don’t come with sound, I can just hear the plants telling me to get ready.
Photos by François Dereeper.