From the French term that means “the onset of ripening,” véraison is the critical point in the growing season when wine grapes change color. While véraison is a signal to vineyard managers and winemakers that harvest is nigh, for resident photographer Richard Duval, it means one thing: color.

“Véraison is the checkered flag of the vineyard cycle,” Duval said. “It means the vines are digging in with all energy now churning toward ripening. The grape clusters explode with hues from silky greens to deep purple and that opens the palette for endless photo compositions.”

Duval captured this example at RockWall Cellars in Omak, Washington. Click on the picture to see a larger image.