Definition - What does Turgidity mean?

Turgidity is a characteristic of all plant life that describes the amount of tension and strength that is present in the stems, leaves and shoots. This strength comes from a combination of water and the process of photosynthesis, which leaves the vine saturated and full of energy. Also when the turgidity is correct, the vine is healthy and produces better fruit.

Turgidity can vary depending on the climate's wind, temperature, sun exposure and water conditions. The vine regulates gases and water to maintain turgidity and as a form of survival in harsh conditions. When the turgidity is lowered, it results in wilting of the leaves, stems and berries.

WineFrog explains Turgidity

In grapevines, it is essential to have the right amount of wind, sun, water and temperature for each type of vine. The turgidity is affected when one of those variables is out of balance and affects the vine’s health negatively. The plant’s surface has a specialized group of pore-like cells that open and close to control the gas exchange for the vine. When there are high winds, more water is lost through the leaf exposure and must be replenished or turgidity will lower. When irrigating, it's important to regulate the flow; too much water will make the vine increase growth and lower the fruit quality (unbalanced acids and low sugar). However, a water deficit can cause low turgidity (wilted vine) with unbalanced flavors, nutrient loss and low weight in the fruit. Temperature also directly affects the amount of water lost in the berries.

With a temperature decrease, the turgidity of grapes is higher and can result in splitting of the fruit. Temperature increase and sunlight exposure can cause more water loss and lower turgidity. Even though some climate negatives can be controlled, the vine’s root system may not be able to keep up with intervention. Turgidity is an important aspect to be aware of when planting and growing vineyards due to the variables that can affect the quality of the fruit.

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