Sunday, March 7, 2010

Time to learn a new word? Try Veraison!

This is what we have been hanging out for, veraison. Which is what?? Well read on: There are many European words that have been adopted by New World winemakers often because one French or German word can replace a sequence of English ones. Véraison is no exception: it is a wine-making term meaning "the onset of ripening". It is originally French, and the official definition of veraison is "change of color of the grape berries." Veraison represents the transition from berry growth to berry ripening, and many important changes occur in berry development occur at this time.

The accompanying image shows what I mean, so berries are still green, other partially coloured and some quite dark. What we want now is warm weather for a couple of weeks to ripen all the berries fully. It is this phase of development that gives the sugar levels and flavours we need, while the acidity drops and the seeds mature. It is this ripening which makes grapes so attractive to birds, and requires the nets we talked about in the last posting to keep them away!
This year we are very late in reaching veraison and so are keeping everything crossed for fine weather over the next month, leading into harvest. We have a winemaker from France joining us this year for vintage, so I will have even more French lessons for you all soon. 

On the social media front, we now have a Facebook page in place for Murdoch James Estate  - now to use it. Meantime have a look and tell me how you'd like it to evolve! I also recently got my first Twitter spam messages, but at the same time am getting lots of encouragement to persevere. Good feedback on the blog too, so if any readers would like a specific topic covered, let me know via the comments section

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