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Veraison Starts in Napa Valley

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Signals the beginning of winegrape ripening

Veraison GRapes
Photo credit: Cliff Lede Vineyards, courtesy of Allison Cellini and NVG.

NAPA, CA (June 25, 2015) – According to the Napa Valley Grapegrowers (NVG) veraison, an annual benchmark in the winegrape growing season is underway, occurring two-three weeks earlier than usual. Known as the onset of ripening, veraison marks the colorful transition from grape growth to grape ripening, resulting in several changes in grape development.

Most dramatically, red winegrapes slowly turn from green to red and purple while white winegrapes go from green to a golden yellow.

“We saw the first signs of veraison this morning in some Merlot in Calistoga. The berries changing color is the visual sign that they are accumulating sugar and that harvest is just around the corner,” said PJ Alviso, NVG member and Director of Estate Viticulture at Duckhorn Wine Company.

NVG reports that some Petite Sirah, Syrah, and Sangiovese vineyards are now also showing signs of veraison and the rest of the varieties grown in Napa will soon follow suit. NVG notes that if the degree days continue tracking as they have been, growers can expect to see more colors in the next 10 days.

At this time of year, vine growth is strong and winegrape growers are very actively managing leaf canopies to prevent sunburn and the vineyard floor to minimize weeds, vineyard pests, and hold on to the remaining moisture that exists in the soil profile. Increased use of vineyard technology enables vineyard managers to quickly identify and mitigate any threatening issues.

With harvest typically occurring 60-75 days from 50% veraison, NVG anticipates that the 2015 harvest could begin in mid-August.

About Napa Valley Grapegrowers

The Napa Valley Grapegrowers is a non-profit trade organization that has played a vital role in strengthening Napa Valley’s reputation as a world-class viticultural region for over 40 years. Its mission is to preserve and promote Napa Valley’s world-class vineyards. NVG represents over 690 Napa County grapegrowers and associated businesses. For more information, visit www.napagrowers.org.

Follow Napa Valley Grapegrowers on Facebook and Twitter.

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