July Vineyard Photo Album
AVA Approval Gridlock at the TTB

Veraison 2008 Photos of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre and Counoise

We're seeing veraison in most of our red varieties.  Our timing is nearly identical to last year, when I wrote my post on Veraison on July 27th.  Veraison (sometimes anglicized to verasion and pronounced vuh-rey-zhun) is the time of year when berries stop increasing in size and refocus on ripening.  It's not unusual to see multiple varietals going through veraison simultaneously, but I was happy to get photos this morning all four of our Rhone red varieties at a point where you can see the differences in how they ripen.  First, Syrah, as usual the first to show veraison and the earliest to ripen, likely in early September:


Next, Grenache, which appears to be ripening a little later than normal. Note how far behind the Syrah it is:


Mourvedre is at about the same stage as Grenache, but we still expect to harvest it last, in mid- to late-October:


Finally, Counoise is barely showing any color change at all.  I had to search most of the Counoise block to find this cluster with a few berries just starting to turn color:


It's worth noting that the sky and the air are clearer than they've been in months, since before the fires in Monterey County began sending ash and smoke southward toward us six weeks ago.  A photo of Roussanne growing against the sky shows the typical Paso Robles deep blue skies (Contrast this with photos of the smoky weather from late June):