From Grapes to Glass: Life Cycle of a Wine Grape

FROM GRAPES TO GLASS
THE LIFE CYCLE OF A WINE GRAPE

BUD BREAK
The first tender buds of the growing season emerge from the dormant vine during bud break in spring.

FLOWERING
After about a month of growth, a vine will develop bunches of tiny flowers. Each flower has the potential to form a single grape berry.

VERAISON
All grape varieties begin their yearly journey green in color. It’s not until mid-summer that red or white grapes reveal their identity to the un-trained eye.

HARVEST
Half a year of getting to know each and every vine culminates in a magical moment when the grapes are picked, mostly by hand and often at night.

CRUSH
Stainless-steel machines await the arrival of the grapes from the vineyard. Grapes enter the destemmer and come out the other side as individual berries. Some winemakers keep small fragments of the stems to in- crease tannin in the wine. Grapes are then gently crushed and sent to the appropriate vessel to ferment on their skins.

FERMENTATION
Fermentation is the age-old process of yeast converting sugar-laden grape juice into wine.

AGING
Winemakers use a wide range of techniques to allow flavors to develop over several months or even several years. The wine is aged in vessels, such as stainless steel or wood barrels.

FRUIT SET
As the now-pollinated flowers drop their petals, a tiny, green sphere begins to emerge at the end of the stem. As these little grapes grow, bunches begin to take their familiar shape.

CANOPY MANAGEMENT
At a certain point, the vigorous shoot growth that has occurred during the spring must be managed to ensure optimal grape production and ripening. It is a complex process.

BOTTLING
Determining when to bottle a wine is a personal decision for the winemaker and de- pends on the vintage and character of the wine.

SOURCE: NAPA VALLEY VINTNERS

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

You must be logged in to post a comment.