Shatter happens. Well, sometimes.

Most of you are probably thinking, “What’s shatter”? I like to use pictures to help make grapes and wine easier to understand.

Here’s a cluster of grapes that is looking pretty good (the one in front)….

And here’s one with ‘shatter’….

See all those tiny grapes? That’s shatter. Those are never going to mature. The larger ones will likely come along just fine. But here’s the thing, unless there is a sorting table back at the winery’s crush pad, the tiny grapes will make it into the press (and possibly the fermentation tank) and create bitter flavors in the wine.

Shatter occurs during the bloom and pollination stage of growing. If it’s too windy or it rains during this time, like this year, then there can be a lot of shatter. This likely won’t mean that this vintage is a throw-away. It just means that vineyard managers and winemakers are going to have to be a lot more picky with the fruit they select. And we will probably have less fruit too. Not necessarily a bad thing since many wineries are sitting on too much wine. Hopefully, this year will end up like last year where the overall yield was down, but quality still quite good.

Still a long way to go and only time will tell.


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