When the berries become translucent, we call it the “veraison”. It usually allows to determine the harvest date, about 40 days later. End August/beginning september is the time of ripening process.
The reign of Ugni blanc
The Ugni blanc is the predominant variety of vines, about 98 %. After the phylloxera disaster at the end of XIX century, Ugni blanc replaced Colombard and Folle Blanche. This variety is more resistant to grey rot especially.
The late maturing Ugni Blanc, is also appreciated for its high acidity level and low alcohol content.
The two historical varieties have progressively disapperead. However, a few winegrowers still have such vines.
And in fact, all the varieties used have been previously grafted on various vinestocks according to the type of soil where they will grow.
Type of soils in delimited area
Clayey, chalky thin soils for the Champagne (grande champagne & petite champagne), clay and flint stones for the Borderies, clayey, chalky soils known as «groies» very similar to those of the Champagne Crus, except for their red colour and hard stones in Fins Bois… The soils are quite different depending from the delimited area. Subject for a next post !
About 6 months from budbreak to harvest in pictures
April : budbreak time
Delicate fragance vine flower
from flower to tiny berries
june : what we call small peas
july closing of the cluster
August : the veraison berries become translucent in the sun.