Veraison is a French term used to describe the onset of ripening, as grapes soften and change color from green to purple (for red grapes) or a lighter green/yellow (for white grapes). Three weeks ago, the first signs of veraison appeared in our Estate Wingo Vineyard.
Not to be outdone by the vineyard, the tomatoes in our Four Farmers’ Culinary Garden followed suit:
The grapevines and tomato plants share the same goal: producing more of their kind. In order to do so, both plants want their seeds to be carried away — something best achieved with sweet, tantalizing berries.
Veraison is important because it’s the commencement of that flavor development. As the leaves absorb sunlight, they transform the rays into sugar and send that nourishment to the grapes. In the berry skins, green chlorophyll is replaced by phenolic compounds, adding pigment to the skins and causing color change.
From the vineyard calendar perspective, this means that ready or not, Harvest 2014 is speeding our way.