Start on Steiner

Shelley Mitchell
August 27, 2018 | Shelley Mitchell


Summer is an amazing time to be in Amador County. From the warmer weather to stunning scenery of the foothills, summer time in Amador County is truly a sight to see. The best parts of Amador County are the vineyards. The acres of vineyards throughout Amador are full of life and bustling with endless possibilities. During this time veraison has started to occur in our vineyards.

Veraison marks the beginning stages of ripening. For our red varietals, such as the famed Zinfandel, veraison causes the berries of the grape cluster to change from a bright green to a dark red. This unique color transformation is absolutely a breathtaking experience that every wine lover should see.

Veraison is not just limited to that stunning color change. During veraison, the berries will change from acidic to sweet in flavor and aroma. This process in vineyard development is important because it lets our team of viticulturists know that harvest is fast approaching. Post veraison, our viticulturists will work with the winemakers to determine if the time is right to begin harvest. This is accomplished by measuring the sugar levels of the berries in the wee hours of the morning when it is very cool. Once the desired sugar levels are met, harvest will begin.

For some of our wines, like our Late-Harvest Zinfandel, harvest will occur in late September early October. This happens for several reasons. First, Zinfandel grapes are notorious for not ripening evenly. It is common to find a cluster of Zinfandel grapes with ripened and un-ripened berries all within the same cluster! By waiting for a late harvest, it ensures a cluster of Zinfandel berries to be more evenly ripen. Second, other varietals like the Riesling benefit from a Late Harvest and produce a sweeter product.

Veraison is an amazing site to experience and plays a significant role in the process of winemaking. Experience the summer of Amador County and the wonders of veraison while you can.


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