As Stags Ridge and Soda Canyon Creek Vineyards have begun their way through veraison we wanted to inform our friends of this beautiful process that occurs yearly and how the grapes actually come to be.
If you're planting new vines it can take 2-3 years before the plant is mature enough to produce viable produce. Once those vines are capable of producing grapes the grapes go thorough a yearly process where the grapes begin and a flower, turn into small berries then grow and finally use their energy to ripen and sweeten the fruit.
In the flowering stage the weather is a detriment to size of the years harvest. The more flowers survive the spring the more grapes in the fall. The survival of the flowers can be influenced by morning dew, strong winds, hail, heavy rains and frost. Each one of those factors can significantly reduce the harvest by killing the flowers before they have the opportunity to become a grape. Obviously, even in perfect conditions not all flowers will become grapes, but hopefully enough survive to create close and tight bunches for optimal fruit.
Once the flowers have turned into small green berries it is important to keep a close eye on the growth of the vines. Overcast cool mornings can lead to too much moisture on the vines and possible mold growth. Here we try to keep the canopies manicured to allow the sun to reach the grapes and limit the humidity on the vines.
Next step is for the grapes to ripen and change color, if they are of the red variety. The ripening of the grapes is called veraison. The sugars are brought forth and the sourness of the berry dissipates. When the grapes have enough sugar the winemaker will make the call to have either all or some of the grapes cut from the vine and harvested to begin the process of crafting wine!
With all that said, 2015 was a notoriously small harvest in Napa Valley. Beau Vigne has and always will focus on the quality of the wine rather than quantity. The 2015 vintage is quite small in comparison with other years and our wine production is limited, but we do feel that these wine are truly special. I'd like you all to take note of the 2015 Juliet as I feel it is best one yet!
If you are not involved in our Wine Club please join soon to ensure you can purchase some of the 2015's.