Mystery: whole cluster

grapes whole cluster

The harvest of the 2012 vintage has begun in some parts of the northern hemisphere.

Here’s a picture of some whole clusters of grapes, just harvested. Strut your grape savvy by telling us which variety are they are. Degree of difficulty: 8.

Let’s hope they don’t have a stuck fermentation, otherwise would be a whole clusterstuck.

Answer and photo credit to follow.

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39 Responses to “Mystery: whole cluster”


  1. Syrah? Not ripped uniformerly


  2. How about Tempranillo?


  3. Petit Verdot?


  4. I know a couple wineries I follow on Facebook indicated harvesting in Carneros last week, so I’ll guess Pinot Noir.

    Failing that, perhaps we’re looking at the soon-to-be 2012 Beaujolais Neauveau? That’d make it Gamay.


  5. They are Pinot Noir


  6. I’ll have to go with Pinot Noir as well


  7. Syrah


  8. Merlot


  9. they look too big to be pinot, but the shape does remind me of pinot noir. maybe it could be plumped up from irrigated vines in a warm climate. too dark to be gamay. it seems too early in the harvest to be syrah, but it could be for a syrah rose. bunches are too tight to be merlot, cab, tempranillo, or anything italian.

    i’m gonna guess this is pinot noir from the central coast, or some other location that is too warm and should stop growing pinot noir. that said, if this turns out to be burgundy, i will be embarrassed.


  10. i am guessing pinot family, noir or meunier, based on shape; i understand ‘pinot’ name comes from french ‘pineau,’ an old french word for ‘pinecone,’ the general shape of the bunch


  11. Vineyard insurance – Merlot


  12. I’m going to take a very wild guess– those tight tight bunches…early ripening– Côt/Malbec from Cahors.


  13. Pinot Noir is usually the earliest of the reds to harvest. Further there are clusters varying from unripe to ripe to the beginnings of raisins. This non-uniform ripening is indicative of Pinot Noir.

    BTW, Texas started harvesting vitis vinifera the last week in July due to abnormally early bud break in the beginning of March!


  14. Hey – great guesses here. None is 100% correct yet for the variety but some are close! [cough bill st john cough cough]


  15. My second thought of the Mystery Grape is Sangiovese.


  16. Definitely NZ Sauv blanc, I mean chardonnay.

    Am I close? What do I win? ;)


  17. Pinotage?


  18. pineau d’aunis


  19. pinot gris!


  20. Now that I look at it again, it’s Pinot Gris!


  21. Ok, right– Menu Pineau!


  22. Sorry, meant Frühburgunder, whatever the French name is…;)


  23. I think Bill St John had it right at Pinot Meunier.


  24. Your picture is of Pinot Gris! :-)


  25. Tinta da barca


  26. Gabe got it–eventually! Nice going.

    Steve and Mark W also got it.

    So it is Pinot Gris, harvested in California this week by Pax Mahle and co for Wind Gap wines. Here’s the link to his original photo

    Thanks for playing! Happy harvesting, all.


  27. Northern hemisphere…August harvest…I’m thinking Champagne and either Pinot noir or Pinot Munier.


  28. pinotnoir!


  29. hahaha! good on us all …


  30. tricky!
    i think we all saw purple grapes and guessed red wine. i got it after the clue. still no excuse, as i am sitting about 400 yards from an acre of pinot gris as i type this (in fairness, our grapes in oregon are still green).
    tons of fun, thanks dr. v!


  31. has to be an early grape – Pinot Noir?


  32. Damn, helps to read. The uneven ripening is the tell – P Gris….


  33. [...] Texas already picked they grapes, and California wineries are well on the way. Dr. Vino just had a great quiz regarding the harvest – try it on for a size, you might find the answer quite [...]


  34. Nebbiolo?


  35. Anyone who saw Pax’s FB page should step away from the award ceremony


  36. Grenache?


  37. Texas is already harvesting! Some things might be best, not to promote!


  38. Texas’ early harvest has been outstanding with many vineyard owners and winemakers calling it the “harvest of the century!” Fact, not promotion!


  39. That was a tricky one. No wonder it took so long for people to guess the right varietal!

    Looks like the beginnings of some tasty vino to me!


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