The Role of Veraison in the Life Cycle of the Vine
During veraison, grapes begin to change color, tannins ripen and astringent malic acid begins to give way to softer tartaric acid. Leaves are often pruned at this time to give grapes more sun and wind exposures. Mildew and disease are still a worry and spraying may continue in some vineyards. Sugar levels begin in individual grapes after veraison. Vines are rarely irrigated after veraison because this will dilute the grapes’ flavors.
The weather can dramatically affect the entire growing season at this time. Late rains can dilute sugar levels and excessively high temperatures can lower acidity too much. This can make wines either flat and boring or overly alcoholic. The risk of leaving grapes on the vine for too long must be weighed against the need to develop varietal characteristics.
> Related Articles