Here we are with now two-thirds of August past. Veraison, the French term for “the turning” or the time when the grapes begin to show color, is about as late as we’ve seen for quite some time.
The protracted late spring coolness, and even some rain, have significantly delayed grape maturation in many of the varietals. The good news is that since just past the 4th of July the weather in the Yakima Valley has been very supportive of grape development. Prior to the 4th, things were not so good.
A significantly bright spot is our Tempranillo. Named for it’s relatively early ripening characteristic (the term “temperate”), it promises to be fully mature when we typically harvest, around the final days of September or just into October. Thank goodness for that attribute of the grape!
My greatest concern is for Grenache, as it requires a long and warm growing season. Currently, it’s pretty far behind, probably around two weeks or more. The Mourvedre is somewhere in between, but I believe it should ripen fully, particularly if we have a warm September and early October.
With farming there’s no guarantees, but on the whole, Washington State’s late season weather has typically been very impressive. So, we cross our fingers and hope for a classic Indian Summer.