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Summer in the Vineyard: A season of growth in Niagara (Part II of photo series)

Seasons in the Vineyard is a Wines In Niagara photo essay series by local photographer Elena Galey-Pride.

Elena spends a great deal of her time documenting the circle of life in the vineyard — from new beginnings in spring, the season of hope, then moving into summer, where warmth and gentle rains give life to the vines, to fall, when plump ripe grapes are harvested to make delicious wines, to winter, the dangerous season when vines are dormant and it’s a fight for survival out there. We are documenting the four seasons in the vineyard with this series.

The first part of the series, Spring in the Vineyard, can be viewed here

Niagara vineyards
Flat Rock 2019-06-23

In our second part, Summer in the Vineyard, Elena takes us through the growing season beginning in June, where the vineyards are bursting with energy and life. Vines can grow as much as two inches per day, according to the Grape Growers of Ontario. As the new canes grow, flowers that resemble miniature grape bunches start to develop. The vine typically enters the bloom period, which, depending on the accumulated heat units, occurs from mid to late June.

In July, what were once developing flowers on the grapevine have now become bunches of grapes. Growers are busy removing the excess bunches to enhance and ensure premium quality.

Moving to August, this is a time of grape berry enlargement. To further enhance grape quality, growers remove the vine’s basal leaves to expose the grapes to more sunlight and air movement. This is important to enhance the quality of grapes and to control disease, because exposed grapes dry out sooner and are less susceptible to fungal attack. By the end of August, there is rapid increase in sugar levels in the vines. This is also the beginning of the grape maturation process. White grapes are transformed from a solid to translucent green, while red or blue grapes start to develop skin pigmentation. This process is called veraison. After veraison and as maturation proceeds, sugars increase and total acids start to decrease in the grapes. In some cases, by late August, harvesting begins, especially for sparkling wines.

Seasons in the Vineyard: Summer

All photos are copyright by Elena and cannot used without permission at winestains

Niagara wine
Featherstone, Vines reaching for the sun, 2019-06-23
Stratus 2019-06-28, Riesling
Stratus 2019-06-28, Chardonnay
Stratus 2019-06-28, Chardonnay flowering
Featherstone, sheep labour, 2019-07-09
Stratus 2019-07-09, Gamay post-flowering
Stratus 2019-07-09 Sauvignon Blanc
Stratus 2019-07-14
Stratus 2019-07-14 Sémillon
On Seven 2019-07-16, planting Pinot Noir
On Seven 2019-07-16, planting Pinot Noir
On Seven 2019-07-16, planting Pinot Noir
Stratus 2019-07-26, Cabernet Sauvignon, berry growth
Reif 2019-07-28, Cabernet Sauvignon
Stratus 2019-08-19, leaf-plucked Cabernet Franc
Reif 2019-08-21, Gamay at Veraison
Reif 2019-08-21, Merlot at Veraison
On Seven 2019-08-21, Chardonnay and Roses
Stratus 2019-08-23, Syrah at Veraison
Featherstone 2019-08-24, Pinot Noir at Veraison
Birds over the netted On Seven vineyard, 2019-08-25
Reif 2019-08-29, Sauvignon Blanc, hedged
Reif 2019-08-29, tractor in the distance
Reif 2019-08-29, Vidal
Stratus 2019-08-29, Gewurztraminer at Veraison with netting in the background
Stratus 2019-08-29, Cabernet Franc at Veraison
Stratus 2019-08-29, Cabernet Franc at Veraison
Reif 2019-09-05, Pinot Noir at Veraison
Reif 2019-09-05, Cabernet Sauvignon at Véraison
Stratus 2019-09-05, Sauvignon Blanc at Véraison
Strewn 2019-09-08, Gewurztraminer at Veraison
Stratus 2019-09-14, Malbec at Veraison
Featherstone 2019-09-17, Riesling
Featherstone 2019-09-17, Riesling
On Seven 2019-09-17, Chardonnay netted
On Seven 2019-09-17, Chardonnay netted
On Seven 2019-09-17, Pinot Noir netted
Stratus 2019-09-17, ripening Cabernet Franc
Honsberger 2019-09-18, Riesling
Inukshuk overlooking vineyard and Toronto at Flat Rock 2019-09-18
Le Clos Jordanne, Talon Ridge, 2019-09-18, netted Pinot Noir
Westcott 2019-09-18, Pinot Noir
Niagara College Teaching Winery 2019-09-19, Vidal in front with new plantings of Merlot, Cab Sauv and Cab Franc to the right rear
Strewn 2019-09-19, Sauvignon Blanc netted

About Elena Galey-Pride

Elena Galey-Pride switched gears 20 years ago, leaving the corporate world to take her PR and marketing skills to wine country. After successful start-ups with two innovative Niagara wineries, Elena launched her solo effort as a marketing and social media consultant, dealing primarily with winery and wine event clients. Along the way, she picked up her camera again, and began focusing in on vineyards, wineries, wine events and wine people. Her company, Winestains, is named for the stain that wine made on Elena’s life, and for the indelible impressions that she helps her clients to make.