We've already made observations on earlier phenological stages (budburst, where the vines first start growing in the spring; bloom, when the flowers that will develop into individual berries are visible; and veraison, when the berries start changing color and accumulating sugar). The last stage to monitor is ripening, which we're measuring now by taking berry samples in the field and analyzing them for their sugar content in the lab. Different varieties can ripen at very different rates, and achieve different sugar levels at ripeness; generally cool-climate grapes like Riesling ripen earlier and at lower sugar levels than warm-climate ones like Tempranillo. After Lizzie did a heroic singlehanded field campaign for the first sampling date a few weeks ago, it took three of us (Dylan, Teri Barry, and me) to match her for the second round! It was great to get out in the vineyard for a morning and make a small contribution on the ground to the fieldwork that Dylan and Lizzie have been running while I contribute from afar in Sweden.