Veraison begins in Columbia Valley

By |2023-07-16T22:17:00-07:00July 17th, 2023|

Growers in Washington are seeing the start of veraison, the changing of color of the grapes. Brittany Komm, vineyard operations manager at Sagemoor Vineyards, noted veraison beginning in Cabernet Sauvignon in Block 303 at Sagemoor Vineyard on July 12th.

“Thought it was a fluke, but it definitely was not,” Komm says.

This is early for Columbia Valley in general and Cabernet Sauvignon in particular. However, it is not too far ahead of recent years.

Below is a table of dates, varieties, and appellations growers have reported veraison beginning since 2013. (NB: This is impressionistic and based on grower reporting rather than formal tracking.)

Bud break began quite late in Columbia Valley this year on April 20th, making it look like it might  be the start of a cool season. However, things warmed up quickly, and the state was back on track to recent years by the time bloom started May 22nd. Now, it looks like, if anything, 2023 is trending ahead of recent years.

Overall, despite the cool start, Columbia Valley has been tracking ahead of the hot 2021 vintage in terms of Growing Degree Days, a measure of heat accumulation. 2021 is considered either the state’s hottest or second hottest vintage, vying for the top position with 2015. More recently, looking at WSU’s tracking of Growing Degree Days, heat units are converging with numbers from 2021.

With veraison starting, harvest is right around the corner.

Image courtesy of Sagemoor Vineyards.

NOTE: Northwest Wine Report is now partially subscription-based. Please consider subscribing to support continued independent content and reviews on this site.

To receive articles via email, click here.

Like this article? Share it!

Leave A Comment

Go to Top