An exploration through the vineyard this morning brought to light the great range of factors contributing to Veraison. Even identical varieties with the same clone are showing different stages in the process of converting from uniform green, hard berries, to plump, softer berries in shades of purple, yellow/green, red, and light brown. The two Petit Verdot blocks are planted to the same rootstock and clone (Clone 2, Root 5BB) but are showing distinct differences in terms of the number of berries through the process. This occurs as a result of their placement on the hillside and the consequent exposure to sunlight. The Roussane blocks are comprised of two different clones planted to the same rootstock (Clone: H and 468, Root: 110R) again those clusters placed higher on the hillside or where the sun shines unimpeded are farther along in approaching ripeness.
Clone: A group of vines propagated from cuttings off of a single parent vine. Mutation within a particular variety account for the various clones of that variety. Clones 4, 8, 15, and 337 are all ‘versions’ of Cabernet Sauvignon grown on the Halter Ranch property, each has its own characteristics and attributes.
Rootstock: the rootbearing base to which a cutting (or scion) from a fruit producing variety (such as Grenache, Cabernet Franc, Picpoul Blanc, etc.) is grafted. Rootstocks are generally chosen to match a particular soil type and for a range of attributes possibly including but not exclusive to: resistance to the phylloxera louse, performance in specific soil conditions, drought resistance (common in Paso!), etc.