The date of onset of véraison was the latest in our 4 years of having fruit on the vines, but the grapes completed the transition from green to red more swiftly than ever before. The uniformity of ripening within the vineyards oldest block (CS2014) was also a bit different from previous years, with the rockier downhill sections changing color at nearly the same pace as the uphill rows.
Each year we record the date when roughly half the berries have turned red, and we begin to sample grape chemistry once we exceed 90% véraison. An interesting facet of this years ripening is while the coloration occurred rapidly, the level of sugars are a touch lower for a similar level of color. Out of curiosity, we sampled the uphill 8 rows separately from the rockier downhill 8 rows and found that the rocky vines were producing grapes with about 10% less weight, but 3% more sugar — both of these values are likely within the margin of “sample error”, since we are expecticng 100 grapes to represent the entirety of 1/4 acre of vines but still… interesting. Conventional wisdom has it that rocky soils will produce more concentrated grapes, and so far this data agrees.