What Happens During Veraison in the Vineyards

There’s a reason for the influx of beautiful wine grape photos on every winery Instagram. It’s called veraison. It’s also known as “berry softening” and commonly defined as “the onset of ripening.” Here’s a more detailed explanation.

During veraison, wine grapes change both in physical and chemical composition.

Believe it or not, all grapes start off green. It’s during veraison that varieties like our beloved Cabernet Sauvignon mature from hard, green berries into soft, purple/red berries. Veraison is influenced by climate and weather, but this change in color is a visual cue that harvest is coming.

Fun fact: Even white wine grapes like Sauvignon Blanc goes through veraison—only the color change isn’t as noticeable as red varieties.

Veraison is also marked by change beneath the skin. Throughout veraison, organic acidity levels decrease and natural sugar levels in the berries increase. This increase in sugar is a factor in increased berry size. Aroma and flavor components also develop during veraison.

Veraison is a very important process during the lifecycle of wine grapes. As our Cabernet clusters mature, the winemaking team is paying close attention. Soon, it’ll be time for harvest.

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