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Hang time on the vine!

August 7th, 2014

estate grown zinfandel in paso roblesPictured is a great example of zinfandel experiencing veraison, transitioning from green to purple. Zinfandel is notorious for wanting to ripen unevenly, with one side ripening first and then the other following. This is why shoot thinning is so important for a zinfandel vine. Removing excess foliage allows sun to evenly touch the grape clusters allowing for more even ripening.

Veraison can last for several months depending on the local climate. During this time the grape is developing sugar, acid, tannic, and mineral structures making this phase in development crucial.

Climate and variety plays the deciding roles in ripening a grape and the date of harvest. In hot climates grapes may be harvested as soon as 30 days after veraision if they are a soft skinned berry. Much cooler climates can take as long as 70 days after veraison to fully develop, especially if the berry itself is thick skinned. Last year we harvested in October across the board due to a beautiful weather pattern of warm sunny days and cool nights lengthening the growing season.