Definition - What does Fruiting Zone mean?
The fruiting zone, or fruit zone, is the area on the vine where the grape berries grow. Usually the grape grows in clusters nestled under the canopy (leaves and vines). Grape growers manage the fruiting zone through techniques like pruning and positioning; they also use other management techniques like canopy management and disease prevention to ensure that the fruiting zone gets enough light and air to grow properly. Correct management of the fruiting zone is important for disease control and to promote ripening.
WineFrog explains Fruiting Zone
The proper growth of the fruiting zone is very important in winemaking. Wine cannot be made from grapes that haven’t fully ripened, and the fruiting zone is, in essence, where the grapes ripen. Disease, over-heating, not enough exposure to sunlight and more can negatively effect the fruiting zone. Canopy management is applied to the vines in conjunction with fruiting zone management to ensure that the fruiting zone remains disease free, at the proper temperature and is in the correct position to give the berries enough space to grow and ripen.
Equal distribution of clusters throughout the fruiting zone is ideal; if the clusters touch, it could cause premature rotting and disease growth. When you look at a vine, the fruiting zone is usually a narrow horizontal band that runs parallel to the ground and to the hanging wire.
Crop sizes are determined by the fruiting zone. Vines are expected to produce a specific amount of berries: super premium reds should produce 1 to 2kgs of fruit; while white wines and varietal reds use 5 to 10 times the amount of fruit (5 to 20kg). Viticulturists and grape growers set the proper crop size and correct conditions to ensure the right amount of fruit is ripened.