The heat has brought the grapes along so fast and early this year and as of the end of July we are seeing the grapes starting to turn in the ripening stage - a good 2 weeks early foresure. The clear sign is the red grapes start to change colour - the Marechal Foch is turning, so is the Lucy Kuhlman, Castel, and Joffre. Leon Millot is unusually behind but again it was stunted due to the cane die back. Its a bit harder to tell with the white grapes except that they begin to soften up. Also the grapes will start to accumulate sugar so you can get out the refractometer and test some of them. We tested those that were softening which was the Evangeline and surprisingly the Seyval. Both were showing 13 Brix. The Petite Milo, Ravat, L'Acadie Blanc were still quite hard. Very surprising with the Seyval as it should be the latest ripening of all the white grape varieties we have - but we only started to get production from this vine last year and this year so are just starting to get to know it.
Here are the photos for July 31st.