Veraison is a term used in viticulture to describe the process of ripening grapes on the vine. It is a crucial stage in the growth cycle of the vine and a key moment for the production of grapes intended for winemaking.
During veraison, the grapes go from a growth phase to a ripening phase. Physiological and chemical changes occur at this stage, and the grapes undergo a series of visual and taste transformations. Here are some of the most important aspects of veraison:
- Color change: The grapes change from a green color to a color characteristic of their variety once they reach veraison. For example, for red grapes, the color becomes darker, while for white grapes, the green tint may turn into more golden or amber shades.
- Berry softening: Grapes begin to soften as they ripen. This makes them juicier and more enjoyable to eat.
- Chemical changes: The chemical composition of grapes changes during veraison. Acidity levels decrease, while sugar levels increase. This is crucial to the quality of the wine produced from these grapes, as the sugar and acidity content affects the taste and balance of the final wine.
- Aroma development: Aromas and aromatic compounds begin to develop at this stage of maturation. The grapes accumulate aromatic compounds which will have an impact on the aromatic characteristics of the final wine.
- Flavor Changes: Grapes develop more complex and nuanced flavors as they mature. The vegetal and herbaceous notes of the previous phase often give way to more fruity and ripe flavors.
Veraison can vary depending on the grape variety, climatic conditions and the wine-growing region. Winemakers carefully monitor this process to determine the optimal time for harvest, usually 40 to 45 days later.
August makes the must (the quality of the juice) said the ancients....