Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Tuesday, June 29 2021

Veraison Watch

By: Anthony Gismondi
Live stream of a BC vineyard

Veraison watch is our second live stream feed of vintage 2021 in the Okanagan Valley.

In viticulture, veraison is the onset of the ripening of the grapes. The vine begins a transition from berry growth to berry ripening, and many changes in berry development occur. The official definition of véraison is "change of colour of the grape berries." As you follow along, you will see the onset of colour, and finally, you will see the entire bunch turn red as it races toward harvest some ten weeks to twelve weeks away. We're recording the live stream and it will be included as a time-lapse in one of the four seasonal videos we're creating as we follow "A Year in the Life of a BC Winegrower".

Despite the heat and dryness in 2021, we are a bit early for a veraison watch but that is farming, you just never know what will happen. There is plenty more to observe in Summerhill's biodynamic vineyard, alive with bugs and possibly fauna, surrounded by indigenous grasses and plants. It's also an opportunity to appreciate the role of the sun in a northern latitude. The sun's intensity, the duration of the day and how the sun bathes the grapes are all part of how grapes ripen at 50 degrees north. 

The grapes in question are zweigelt. Not very common but we chose them strategically.  For various reasons, we needed to film in East Kelowna, and verasion there can be up to three weeks behind the south Okanagan.  Zweigelt has a greater chance of completing veraison at this latitude earlier than other red varieties, giving us more opportunities to use our footage in our late summer video.

Once again, our thanks to Ezra Cipes, Michael Alexander and the vineyard team at Summerhill Pyramid Winery, who have agreed to work around our camera in place for the next six weeks.

Mouse over the bottom right corner of the viewing portal below to see the expansion button and see the live stream in its full 4K glory.


A Year in the Life of a BC Winegrower - Spring  Our first video in this project looks at late winter and spring activities and features Covert Farms in Oliver, Da Silva Winery on the Naramata Bench, Summerhill in East Kelowna and Harper's Trail in Kamloops. Read more and watch the video

Written By: ag
Anthony Gismondi
Anthony Gismondi

Anthony Gismondi is a Canadian wine journalist and one of North America's most influential voices in wine. For over 30 years, he has been the wine columnist for The Vancouver Sun. The twice-weekly column is distributed across Canada through Postmedia Network to millions of readers. In addition, Anthony co-hosts the BC Food & Wine Radio Show, broadcast in 18 markets across B.C. and available as a podcast on Spotify, Apple and iHeart Radio and more. He launched Gismondionwine.com in 1997, attracting one million users a month from 114 countries. It continues to be a valuable resource of full tasting notes and intelligent wine stories and videos for the trade and consumers.