S&J Vineyard Through the Seasons: Fruit Set

Nestled on the eastern slopes of Napa Valley, near Atlas Peak, lies Frank Family’s S&J Vineyard, a tribute to the namesake of Rich Frank’s grandchildren, Stella and Jeremy. This expansive 75-acre vineyard benefits from its elevated position, granting S&J Vineyard one of the lengthiest growing periods in the valley.

Summer in Napa Valley is a captivating season filled with stunning landscapes and flourishing grapevines. This year’s growing season has been marked by moderate weather conditions, characterized by hot, dry days and cool nights, creating an ideal environment for grapevine growth. During this time, the grapevines experience rapid development, with the clusters seemingly mature almost overnight. 

Fruit Set

Fruit set is a pivotal stage in the life cycle of the grapevine, marking the transition from delicate blossoms to the formation of grape clusters. It is during this process that the fertilization of the flowers occurs, leading to the development of fruit. As the grapevine enters its reproductive phase, tiny green orbs begin to emerge, nestled among the leaves and tendrils. Each grape is the result of successful pollination, where the transfer of pollen from the stamen to the pistil takes place. Factors such as weather conditions play crucial roles in ensuring a successful fruit set. This transformative period sets the stage for the forthcoming growth and maturation of the grapes, offering a glimpse of the harvest to come.

What’s Next: Veraison

The most exciting moment every summer is the onset of veraison, the processes in which the grapes turn from hard, green berries to soft, purple berries and begin to sweeten. As the skin of the berry changes color, the inside also develops; the tannins and acidity levels decrease, and the sugar levels increase. The grape berries increasingly become more viable for consumption. Eventually, our Winemaker, Todd Graff will decide that the tannins, acidity, and sugar levels are at the ideal point for harvest.