Basics of Ripeness
While there are different determining factors, there are a few basic indications that the grape is ready. The grapes should be softer to the touch, and easy to pull off the vine. If it is hard, it is still too young, and if it is shriveled, it is too old. When the grape color changes, it is called veraison. Veraison is a good indicator that it is starting to ripen and will soon be ready to pick. Our grapes are currently moving through veraison, and will be ready to pick within the next month or two.
Factors in Flavor
As the grape is growing, it will take on different flavors. The longer it sits on the vine, the bolder the flavor will be. A young red fruit will taste more vegetal and and have flavors green apple and citrus. When it ages, it will become more jammy and red-fruited, which means it is sweeter and will have a higher alcohol content. We strive to create a balanced wine, so we try to pick our grapes before they become too ripe.
Grape Picking in Mahoney Vineyard