Grape Growth Cycle

Definition - What does Grape Growth Cycle mean?

The life cycle of grapes is an annual growth cycle that starts during winter pruning and ends when the grapevines go dormant the next winter. The growth cycle starts with bud break and then goes into the flowering phase, which leads into the fruiting stage where the grapes start to grow. As the grapes grow and ripen, some are pruned off to make way for the stronger grapes. As the grapes mature, they enter véraison and are then harvested.

WineFrog explains Grape Growth Cycle

At the beginning of the grape growth cycle, the stems go into bud break where the previous years’ pruning has been managed to produce the highest yield. After bud break, the shoots being to grow which will give way to tiny leaves and the start of photosynthesis. As the temperatures change after bud break (40-80 days), flowering occurs, and after pollination, the grapes are produced from the tiny flower clusters, which is known as the fruiting stage. As the fruiting stage ends, the grapes start out small, hard and green in color, which is called véraison and the grapes being their ripening process.

During this stage, the grapes change from green to their normal variety color red/brown or green/yellow, depending on the species. Véraison does not occur simultaneously in all clusters, and depending on their location and temperature exposure in the vineyards, some will ripen and fall before or after others. For higher quality wines, it is important for vineyard mangers to have an early véraison so the grapes can be harvested sooner limiting glucose, acid and pH production.

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