April 24, 2019 | By RJS Craft Winemaking
There are two harvest seasons in the world of wine, one occurs in the northern hemisphere (August- October) and another harvest in the southern hemisphere (February – April). At this time of year we happen to be in the Northern hemisphere harvest where the grape vines are growing.
The annual growth cycle of vines starts off with bud break which is when the buds swell. They will eventually shoot and begin to grow from the buds. After bud break there is a short time frame where the buds are vulnerable to frost damage so often vineyards will go to great lengths to protect these sprouting buds.
Between 2 – 3 months after bud break, the process of flowering begins. This is when small flower clusters start showing themselves on the shoots. The flowering process takes place when the weather is between 15-20 Celsius.
The exciting stage of fruit set follows flowering, where the fertilized flowers begin to develop a seed and grape berry. This is another critical stage where vineyards take extra caution to protect the fruit set (potential crop yield).
Just before harvest, the stage of veraison starts. This is where the grape berries are green and hard to the touch. Essentially this is the ripening process and can take between 40-50 days after the fruit set stage. The beautiful growth of the grape varieties, the colour and size changing all happens here.
Once successfully completing these stages the harvest will take place-where the grapes are removed from the vine, however this won’t take place until later this year in August – October. Until then enjoy watching the beautiful growth season of grape vines!