Definition - What does Waterberry mean?
Waterberry is a physiological grape disorder that is caused by disruptions in a vine’s metabolic role, mostly deficiency of usual flavor, color and sugar. The berries that are affected are regular in mass, but they lack the required shade, taste and characteristics. There are two identified types of waterberry disorders and they both have different causes and remedies.
WineFrog explains Waterberry
One type of waterberry infects the tips of the vine clumps. This is believed to happen due to overcropping, extreme application of nitrogen fertilizers and lack of potash. These causes hinder proper growth of the berries. In the initial stages, berries at the cluster tips are softer than usual with high acidity content. In extreme stages, the berries suffer from a dullness in color and are completely dried out. Decreasing the use of fertilizers, and adding potash can help get rid of this condition.
The other type of waterberry affects all parts of the vine clumps. Over-thinning of vines is believed to be the trigger of this condition. In an over-thinned vine, the passage of sugar is disrupted because of disturbances in the metabolic function of the vine. To control this, vines should not be over-thinned.
Both of these conditions can be controlled by trimming off affected vines, as soon as any abnormality is noticed. Waterberry causes crop losses, and results in financial losses for the winemaker and his vineyard.