The process of Veraison is in full swing in most grape varieties in the southern hemisphere, and some are ready to be picked, as seen in these beautiful photos taken by Paul Grobler, Phytech’s national sales & customer services manager based in Australia.
In the region of Sunraysia (an area in the state of Victoria, Australia) our growers are using Phytech to monitor their vines' water-demand closely through the Veraison process as well as making sure the berries remain firm all through the picking process ready for delivery to the market.
And before we dive into this fascinating process and how we're helping optimizing it, from all of us at Phytech, we wish our grape growers all the best through picking and selling their product!
What is Veraison?
Veraison is a French word that describes the start of the ripening process when the grapes change colors and sweeten naturally. In this process, the energy stores from the vine is moved into the grapes, causing them to swell with sugar and other nutrients that start to change the color of the skin. Chlorophyll is replaced by chemicals which start to change the green grapes to purple (for red varieties) or golden (for white varieties) when they are filled with glucose, fructose and aromatic properties
The role of irrigation in optimizing Veraison
Identifying the start of Veraison is made simple, once our growers get clear visibility of their vines' water-demand, growth rate and MDS (Maximum Daily Shrinkage). The negative growth is the point where a lot of the carbohydrates stored in the plant is broken down and shifted to the berries. Sustaining irrigation here is important to ensure there is sufficient water available to maintain berry firmness. If irrigation is reduced too quickly (especially during warmer weather) it can result in soft berries which is not desired
Let the vines tell you when Veraison started
The change in direction on the plant data should be the trigger point for growers to know there is a shift in the vines and to sustain irrigation to ensure recovery.