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Photo Gallery of the Month: Veraison Thinning of the Grapes

A cluster of chardonnay grapes is sacrificed to ensure uniform ripening of the remaining crop in 2016.

Quality winemaking requires sacrifice. Every summer, in late July and early August, we begin the tedious (and melancholy) process of thinning grapes after veraison. Even in years like 2015 and 2016, when yields are low and average, respectively, we must drop clusters that are not ripening evenly to ensure uniform maturity of the remaining grapes at harvest time.

Cool weather during flowering this spring led to an average-sized crop for both Russian River Valley Chardonnay and Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot with some “hens and chicks” clusters (known as millerandage in French), and luckily only a small amount of thinning was needed.

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Lisa Mattson

Videographer, photographer, writer and publicist. Find me on weekends trying to capture footage of the elusive Jordan Estate jack rabbits and turkeys.

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