As the days start to turn a little cooler, the grapes we've been waiting for start to respond through a process called veraison. This is where the acids in the grape are converted into the sugars that will eventually become alcohol in wine. For red wine grapes, the change is particularly obvious as they go from a light green colour to a deep red, purple and, in some cases, black.
Many of our local wineries are thinking about the harvest and some even have public harvest days. Fall also brings an abundance of colour in the leaves of trees and a bounty at Farmer's Markets across the province.
Many would argue that now is the best time to visit wineries and travel through the back roads of NB. There is a good chance that you will see the vineyards alive with activity as grape growers net their crops to protect them from birds and other critters, check their grapes daily to predict the best harvest time, and also thin the grapes to allow the vines to pour their energy into a smaller number of grape clusters. All of this is essential to ensure that the sugars in the grapes are as high as possible.
The harvest is just the first step in a long series of tasks needed to create the perfectly balanced NB wine. Visiting a winery gives you the opportunity to learn the whole process, from grape to glass, and meet the people making your favourite tipple.
There are still several tours available to visit NB's wineries, or you can call ahead and visit on your own (take a designated driver!)
Moncton wineries: Sept 26, Oct 4, Oct 11, Oct 31
Fredericton wineries: Sept 27, Oct 25
Fredericton breweries: Oct 10
Saint John wineries: Oct 3, Oct 18, Oct 24
St Andrews wineries: Oct 17 (includes Indulge wine trail bracelet)
At Uncorked Tours we're all about sharing the fabulous wine, beer and spirits being produced in the Province of New Brunswick.
It is my pleasure to share with you the great food and drink being produced here in NB, as well as the awesome experiences you can have while living here or visiting the province.
May you always have good wine in your glass and friends to share it with.