Great wine is made in great vineyards, we all know that is true for sure! However, great wines come from great grapes first. Let’s take a look at the lifecycle of a grapevine.
To ensure the quality of your wine, everything from the structure the grape vine rests on, to vine nurturing must be taken into account. Careful steps are necessary to get the most of any grape. But what is involved in this important part of winemaking? We should start with the essentials, the vines the grapes grow from. Months before the berries have begun to form. Yes, grapes are berries if you didn’t know check these facts about grapes!
A grapevine is a perennial plant, one that lives more than two years. It grows or blooms over the spring and summer to die during autumn and winter months. Perennial plants such as the grapevine will always repeat the cycle from its rootstock the following spring. Without the meticulous pruning of a vintner, grapevines would naturally grow into a bushy-tree-like mess of leaves and branches. There are more than sixty different species of grape vines, although the best known and used is the Vitis Vinifera.
The first year of growth in a vine’s life is meant to build up nutrient stores. Flower clusters that grow are usually cut back. What matters most at the grapevine’s first year is establishing a strong root system. By the third year of growth, a vine is expected to produce fruit suitable for quality winemaking. Generally, a grapevine matures over a period of up to 30 years, before slowing down in vigor.
The Stages in the Lifecycle of a Grapevine
The vine is a complex, wonderful living organism that undergoes a series of fascinating transformations throughout the year. Winegrowing starts with the stages of life of a grapevine, thus drawing parallels to our own birth and development stages as human beings. Have a look at the life of the grapevine from which your best wine becomes reality:
- Even before grapes have formed on the vine, your soon-to-be favorite wine is going through a delicate process. In winter (November through January), the vine loses its leaves, as the cold sets in, the plant is in a resting state.
- During April and May (Sept/Oct in the Southern Hemisphere) sap rises up from the pruning cuts and the buds begin to break. The first green leaves show and are known as “shoots”. Budbreak greatly depends on climate conditions affecting the plant, an early frost could return them to a dormant state.
- The grapevine produces flower clusters around May and June which will soon bloom. This kicks off the pollination phase resulting in the fruit set stage. Grapevine flowers can pollinate themselves without the need of bees.
- Fruit Set. A few days after flowering, the plant starts producing seeds and grape berries slowing down growth at their highest level of acidity.
- The next-to-last stage of a grapevine’s lifecycle. The true explosion of life takes place when the grapes begin to ripen. The berries will accumulate sugar and change color to light greens, reds or purples. Regional climate also affects the ripening stage and grape maturation.
- Finally, the entire lifecycle comes to an end. The grapes are ready to be picked when they present the desired winemaking style and individual variety.
Choose VenToSpain for Your Next Wine Experience
Grapes make the harvest. After the fields are harvested, the bare vines will survive another winter. The vintage will lie dormant but not for long. Nature will always forge ahead, and it is up to winemakers and winegrowers to understand its spirit and guarantee its future until next spring. At Bodegas Ven we treasure the miracle of life in fruit form, we love being that kind of vintner. From the grapevine to the bottle, we strive for the highest quality, because wine is more than just a drink.
If you have never tasted Spanish wines before, it is never too late to give them a try. Are you curious about Spanish wines? Check out our international wine line VenToSpain. Do not miss out on discovering what VenToSpain has in store for you.
VenToSpain is now available at restaurants, gas stations and other points of sale too. Visit:
- Entre Tapas Restaurant
- Madrid Tapas y Vinos
- Mobile Sunny Isles at Collins 18300
- Chevron Miami Beach at 401 71st St, Miami Beach, FL 33141
- A&G Mini Mart at Chevron Doral 2498 NW 87th Ave, Miami, FL 33172
Find out what VenToSpain has in store for you!
Sources: www.torres.es, www.wineofthemonthclub.com