Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon and Yountville Cabernet Sauvignon

Who knew that grapes were also chameleons? There is mid-summer magic happening in the vineyards. Green grapes are changing color and taking on red skins. It happens every year, but it always seems mystical. All wine grapes start out green, but halfway through ripening the red grapes turn color and develop red pigment in their skins. The vineyards take on a two tone look in a very short period of time.

Walking through the Oakville Cabernet vineyard and the Yountville Cabernet vineyard on a regular basis to check on the progression of the vintage is always a pleasant experience, but partway into July it takes on a whole new look. It is called veraison, the process where red grapes actually turn red. It is always surprising and a bit of a relief. It signals that the grapes are heading toward the finish line for ripening.

The stress about the weather during fruit set is over and the grapes are safely intact. The light at the end of the tunnel is starting to come into view and now it is time to visit the vines more often to gently guide them toward their goal. It is time to pamper them, water them, make sure they are free of mold, trim back the leaves, open the canopy for air flow, allow them to get more sun if needed, or leave the shade and protect them from the sun. The journey is nearly complete and now you want to make it easy for them to make it to harvest in optimal condition.

After turning a deep ruby color, the grapes likely start to dream about harvest, about releasing their juices so they can be fermented, nurtured into wine, and eventually served in the best Yountville tasting room just a mile or so away. It is their destiny.