Veraison underway at local vineyards

COLOR CHANGE Veraison is beginning at local vineyards. Photo: Laura Ness

August is the month when veraison occurs in earnest, in both white and red grapes. Berries begin swelling rapidly and whites transition from a Thompson seedless shade of pale green to a warm greenish-yellow. Chardonnay will gradually glow like polished gold. Reds blush pinkish-purple, gradually deepening to red or blue purple. Harvest usually occurs around seven to eight weeks from veraison.

Vic Vanni of Solis reports that the sangiovese was, as usual, the first to turn. 

“Harvest should commence in early to mid-October, depending on weather,” he said. “Based on current conditions, we might be late this year, but so much can change in the next eight weeks.” 

He added that the crop is healthy, like last year.

Jason Goelz of Jason Stephens Winery is concerned that with veraison occurring simultaneously across many varieties, everything might reach ripeness at the same time. 

“We had a cool spring/early summer, but nature has its ways of catching us up,” he said. “I am hoping this year plays out a lot like last year.”

Calerrain is no longer pouring at The Stomping Grounds. Their new tasting room at 10220 Jean Ellen Court in Gilroy will be open weekends from noon to 5pm, starting Aug. 3.

Morgan Hill’s newest winery, Lightpost, hopes to open on Aug. 3. 

Lion Ranch is holding a Ladies Night on Aug. 8 from 6-9pm. Tickets are $15 in advance, and include a tasting flight of wine and light appetizers.

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Laura Ness is an accomplished freelance writer offering travel tips and commentary on the California wine industry.