Verasion is a magical time in the vineyard. It's my favorite time in the growing season. For me it is the signal to get ready; ready for harvest! Verasion is the most visible sign of the ripening fruit. For our Redmon red grapes, the clusters change from green to purple, For the Chardonnay fruit, it is the softening of the berries as if each one is capturing and holding the sun. Each grape softens and plumps, the sugars rise and the favors begin to emerge. It seems that each grape cluster is just tanning in the sunlight, yet every berry seems to change at it's own speed.
It is also the time we carefully watch the fruit. As the clusters begin to fully darken, not all make the cut. A few clusters stay green long past the rest. As we walk the vineyards, we examine each cluster and remove the green, slower maturing clusters. We call this a green drop. In the Redmon Vineyard, we also make sure that each cane has no more than two clusters and for canes shorter than 24 inches, we only leave one cluster per cane.
This thinning of the crop is critical for premium wines. In the end, the crop thinning and green drop enables the vines to concentrate their energy on the few grape clusters with concentrated flavors and rich, dark color. As a premium wine producer we thin our crop to produce only 1.5 to 2 tons per acre, while other volume grape growers and can get six or more tons per acre.
Stay tuned for to awesome events coming soon this fall: The Release Party on September 19th and our Harvest Day at the vineyard where you too can harvest grapes in the Redmon Vineyard.