August 2010 – Chillin’ in the Heat

August is hurry up and wait time in the wineries and vineyards. The grapes are almost to their full size but haven’t turned colour yet. Red, pink and white grapes are all still green. Until the sugars start to push them into their proper ripe colouring, they will stay green. Each grape variety changes its colour at different times. This is called “veraison” and is an important indicator of the progress of the season. Starting mid-late August, veraison will give growers and indication as to when to expect the harvest.

At Hester Creek, the merlot vines were all neatly tucked into their wires to get all the sunshine possible.

Merlot grapes in their typical medium sized, loose clusters. This allows for good air circulation and prevents mould or mildew by keeping the grapes dry.

 

Meanwhile, across the street at Gehringer Brothers...

 

These grapes were building larger, more tightly packed clusters.

 

Across the valley at Black Hills...

 

The large clusters of Cabernet Sauvignon were taking in the heat.