Invaiatura/Veraison: an illustration of terroir

by Laura Gray on August 10, 2010

Veraison  – invaiatura in Italian – is with us. The grapes change colour one at a time, depending on how much sun they are receiving and on how close they are to the vinestocks. This moment marks the switch from fruit growth to fruit ripening and brings us one step closer to harvest.

The first two photos illustrate the difference between 2009 and 2010 growing season, most evident at Le Due Porte vineyards where our grapes have scarcely started veraison and the grapes are green and hard as bullets. The ripening seems to be more than a week behind schedule, if it is appropriate to apply such concepts to nature. We had originally thought it would be even later since a cold, rainy and snowy winter delayed budburst and fruit set. However a hot and dry July compensated and accelerated the fruit maturation and the grapes are currently in good health.

Our lowest vineyard, La Vigna del Capa, has deep purple bunches thanks to a different exposition and a drop of over 200 metres in altitude. We have already started to drop fruit here in order to increase the quality of the bunches that remain on the vine. La Vigna Vecchia, higher and south-east facing, is poised between the other two vineyards, with a few green grapes in each cluster.

We will continue to prune in the next 7 weeks or so as we approach harvest and the grapes will benefit from the increasing thermal excursion between day and night temperature, essential for developing aromatics and structure.

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