The start of veraison
My August trip to vineyard brought a pleasant surprise with the beginning of veraison. When I first arrived and walked the rows I noticed that the majority of Zweigelt vines with clusters were beginning to show the changing of colors from green to dark purple. The next couple of rows make up the 5 Pinot Noir clones and several of those vines as well were showing signs of veraison.
As you can see the clusters on Zweigelt (above) are huge and since we dropped a lot of them last month we are hopeful that what remains will be able to ripen properly. It has been a cool summer in Michigan so I would imagine our first harvest will be a little delayed from the historical average.
Not all good news
While it is exciting to see all the clusters of Pinot Noir, Cab Franc, Blaufrankisch and Zweigelt, many of our whites don’t have that many clusters. Notably our Gruner Veltliner had a poor fruit set and I’m not certain why. Many of the flowering clusters (which there were quite a few) didn’t turn into any berries at all and several of the clusters only have a few berries on them.
It is only the third year so it is probably better that the vines focus on growing roots and not fruit but we were hoping to make a small amount of Gruner this year.
Since many of white varieties don’t have that many clusters we anticipate making a field blend with them. The plan for the field blend will be to take all the Chardonnay, Gruner, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer and ferment together assuming we can pick them at the same time.
The exception is probably going to be the Riesling as it appears we should have enough to make a small single variety wine.