Veraison, or "the onset of ripening," is the time of year in the vineyards when those hard green grape berries we've been watching for weeks begin changing color and softening. It's natures producing a beautiful display of color in the vineyard as she delicately ripens the grapes. Once veraison sets, expect about six weeks until harvest begins.
The 2010 growing season started slightly wetter and cooler. March and April saw significantly lower average temperatures, a trend that continued well into May. June finished near historical averages. And in July, a pattern of onshore flows resulted in cool, foggy mornings in the Napa Valley. Due to continued cooler weather, it looks like harvest will be slightly later than previous years.
Cabernet Sauvignon grapes at Castello di Amorosa vineyards.
Expect about six weeks until the start of Harvest of 2010. A perfect time to enjoy Napa Valley.
Pruning the Primitivo block at Castello di Amorosa in the Napa Valley.
In many parts of the country, winter is still hanging around, but not in the Napa Valley and certainly not at Castello di Amorosa's vineyards where budbreak, the first emergence of shoots that will ultimately bear fruit, occurred earlier this week. Sangiovese showed it's buds first; Primitivo, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon vines will budbreak next. Budbreak occurs when the vines wake from their winter dormancy and begin to show signs of life. Water drawn up through the extensive root system appears on the cuts made by pruning. This is followed by the emergence of tiny buds. Leaves eventually unfold- a fresh start to a new growing season.
Working in the vineyard is a labor of love. Pictured below is Mario Martinez, Vineyard Crew Leader. His gentle hands prepare the Primitivo vines for the growing season.
Strong hands, gentle touch.
Budbreak in the Sangiovese vineyard.
Mario Martinez tends to the Primitivo vines.