Vineyard managers and their teams shift from one phase of vine development to the next during the growing season, always alert to unexpected changes and variations. While climactic conditions impact how a season’s crop will develop, grape vines undergo distinct stages each year as they mature.

By the beginning of summer, the vines have experienced the early year phases of bud break, flowering, and the fruit set when the tiny bunches of grapes begin to appear.

Eventually, Napa Valley’s consistent Mediterranean-style weather has begun to warm the vines, and the grapes start to grow and mature. Vineyard managers begin the process of canopy management to thin the foliage to enhance sunlight exposure and allow the grapes to reach their full maturity by harvest time.

Veraison Begins

By midsummer, a new and critical stage of development occurs known as “veraison,” a stage when the pigment development begins, and the grapes gradually change from green to their eventual red or white color.

Veraison is a gradual process that depends principally on the climate and other conditions of the vineyard. Because Napa Valley has an unusually high number of variations in climates, soils, and elevations, veraison may occur later in some areas and last longer in others.

For example, Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from a Valley floor vineyard near Calistoga will begin to reveal their deep red color at a different time than those planted on a hillside of the Spring Mountain AVA.

These and the other appellations of Napa Valley experience wide temperature swings both during the day and once the sun goes down. The temperature changes in some vineyards might be as much as 40°F in 24 hours. The warmer periods encourage growth, sugar development, and ripening, while the often fog-laden nights and mornings help the grapes retain their acidity and freshness.

These variations play a significant role in determining when veraison will occur and how long it will last.

The temperature fluctuations of this Mediterranean climate, plus the volcanic and alluvial soils present throughout the area, are fundamental reasons why Napa Valley is uniquely positioned to be a world-class wine production region.

The combination of influences during the entire growing cycle results in beautifully balanced and flavorful wines, ranking them near the top among all wines produced today.

Touring Napa Valley with Platypus

Napa Valley offers plenty of fun, adventure, and glorious weather during the summertime. Whether for a weekend or a week’s escape, visitors can relax and safely enjoy all the entertainment venues, hiking and biking, shopping, world-class dining, and even those informative and memorable private wine tours Napa Valley offers.

And, by far, the best and safest way to enjoy the beautiful wines and scenery of Napa Valley is with one of the join-in or private wine country tours managed by Platypus Wine Tours. You sit back and enjoy the magnificent views of Napa or Sonoma Valleys as you travel to thoughtfully selected boutique wineries that dot the landscape throughout the region.

While passing hundreds of vineyards during your Wine Country Tours, you will marvel at the endless rows of developing grape bunches maturing on the vines.

Wine Country Tours by Platypus are educational, enlightening, fun, and safe,

Traveling in a modern, comfortable van driven by an experienced professional driver to carefully selected “off the beaten path” wineries is the best way to see and sample all Napa Valley offers.

For more information about join-in or private wine tours Napa Valley, visit the Platypus Wine Tours website.

For your join-in tour or to arrange a private wine country tour, you can make your reservations in advance online or phone Platypus Wine Tours at 707-253-2723. Platypus Wine Tours is the best and safest way to enjoy your visit.