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The grapevine’s annual lifecycle

The year has twelve months, but only for about eight months we can see some activity on the vine.

The budburst constitutes the phenological awakening of the plant after winter dormancy.
It all starts when the warm days open the buds that have been dormant since last fall. The budburst occurs based on the nutrients accumulated by the plant in the previous year.
In the Northern Hemisphere, budding takes place between March and April; while in the southern hemisphere, in the months of September and October.

Six to thirteen weeks after budburst, around mid-spring, we will have a crucial stage that lasts approximately one and a half weeks, the flowering.
The vine flowers appear in the nodes of the young branches, ready for fertilization.

Fruit set occurs in June, after the flowers have been pollinated. Subsequently, the berries will replace the small white flowers.
It will be at that time that we can glimpse the abundance or scarcity of the next harvest.
With the passage of spring and the beginning of summer, rising temperatures will cause an expansion, and the berries that survived will grow to the size of pea berries.

When they reach the right size, the opaque green berries, which at this time are identical in white and red varieties, gain a new palette of tones. The "veraison ("verr-ray-zohn”)” will turn the skin of the berries red and translucent for the skin of the white varieties.
The changing color and development of other polyphenols act as protectors to the grapes from the sun, wind and other stresses.

After the "Veraison”, maturation will take 35 to 55 days, during which a series of compounds will accumulate in the grape, including the sugars that will later be transformed into alcohol by the natural fermentation of the yeasts. The maturation period will end with the harvest.

Depending on varieties and weather conditions, the grape harvest takes place from August to October.
This is when the grapes are picked.

Once the grape harvest is over, the cold weather will come, vines enter a period of dormancy and the sap goes back down the vine.
The winter cycle can now begin.
It is at this time that the wine grower will prune the vine, balancing its productive potential for the following year.

From then on, the cycle is repeated and the winegrower eagerly awaits the new harvest!