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January 9, 2006

Changing identity

pinotage veraison 2005.jpg

Pinotage is a red variety with very deep coloured skin. This bunch is in the first stage of changing colour from green to red (or deep purple/blue). Some berries are green, some pink, some almost fully coloured.

All grapes that we use for wine start out green. About 6 weeks before harvest, the red varieties (like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot) start changing colour; first pink, then red and finally, a deep shade of blue. All of the individual berries have a different timetable and our biggest job in the vineyards from spring to picking is to get all of them in each block ripe, bunch by bunch and vine by vine, at the same time.

Posted by graham knox at January 9, 2006 1:05 PM

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I'm used to seeing veraison, but it looks here like there's a greater spread of development in the berries here than I'm used to seeing. Am I imagining this, or is this a characteristic of Pinotage? When you harvest, are the bunches showing homogeneous ripeness among the berries?

Posted by: Jamie Goode at February 3, 2006 2:29 PM

sorry to take so long to reply.
I have a very slow internet connection.
We are way back in the mountains, deep in the woods. The bunch that I photographed was chosen especially because of the wide range of colour variation. Most berries on a bunch normally change in a wave.
We picked these grapes yesterday, with very even ripeness throughout the block.
Juice analysis this morning is 26 Balling (Brix?) 5.8 T/A and 3.52 pH.

Posted by: graham knox at February 10, 2006 7:48 AM

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