Veraison – the changing of color of the grapes – is underway in eastern Washington. This picture from Lacey Lybeck (@LaceyLybeck) shows veraison in Malbec at Milbrandt Vineyards Clifton Hills Vineyard on the Wahluke Slope. Lybeck also noted veraison occurring in Merlot at both Clifton Bluffs and Clifton Hills.

Meanwhile in the Yakima Valley, Dustin Tobin, General Manager at Arthur Den Hoed Farms, noted that veraison was occurring in Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, and Malbec as of July 15th.

As always, veraison can only mean one thing – that harvest is right around the corner. While there is still a lot of growing season left, 2014 is currently shaping up to be another warm year, tracking closely to 2013 numbers in terms of Growing Degree Days (see WSU’s Growing Degree Day chart). Most markers of the growing season have been tracking considerably ahead of historical averages throughout the year. As always though, the story in Washington gets written in September and October – at least in terms of red wines. Stay tuned.