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Wine Country: The Trip From Vine To Vino

Where the grapes will be depends on when you visit. Here, a farmer’s almanac

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BudBreak
In early spring, when the soil has warmed to at least 50 degrees, sap begins leaking from pruned branches, and tiny buds emerge on the vine.

 
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Flowering
In May or June, shoots that have sprung from the buds form flower clusters—small green blooms—that make way for pollination (most vines are hermaphroditic). 

 
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Fruit Set
Almost immediately after flowering, the fertilized bloom forms a seed around which the berry grows. The grape skin and tannins begin to mature. 

 
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Véraison 
Still sour, green, and hard, the grapes start to ripen in August. The fruit changes color, softening as sugars build up and acidity decreases, then doubles in size.  

 
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Harvest
The fruit is picked between September and October, depending  on the varietal as well as on the acid and sugar levels. It’s crush time. The winemaking begins.