For the wine to reach our palates, a whole process of pampering the vines and grapes is necessary beforehand. Everything is important and every detail counts. The gift that the vine offers us comes during the harvest season, when we obtain the fruits of unconditional dedication.
To do this, the vine carries out an annual and vegetative cycle. In this post we are going to tell you everything you need to know about this exciting process.
The cycle of the vine
The vine cycle begins with budding. Depending on the hemisphere, the period in which it occurs varies: in the northern hemisphere it occurs between March and April; and in the southern hemisphere between September and October. Coinciding with spring, the buds swell and sprout when the average air temperature exceeds 10ºC for several days.
The buds grow rapidly, developing the different organs of the vines (leaves, buds, tendrils, inflorescences…) until the vine flowers. Initially, the energy required by the plant to support this growth comes from the carbohydrate reserves accumulated in the trunk and roots of the vine. Once the leaves develop, it is the leaves that generate energy through photosynthesis. Dormant buds are also formed which, thanks to an inhibiting hormone, remain dormant until the following year. This is when they will sprout.
At the beginning of vegetative growth, a good supply of water and nutrients is very important. After veraison, however, a little stress is needed to restrict vegetative growth so that the plant can concentrate on ripening the fruit. This part of the cycle corresponds to the period from March to August in the northern hemisphere and from September to March in the southern hemisphere.
During flowering, there are determining factors for pollination to be effective: temperatures must be above 15°C, plenty of light and little or no rain. Flowers that are not pollinated fall off. There are years when more flowers than normal are not fertilised; this phenomenon is called Coulure. There are cases where the grapes develop seedless and do not grow very much: this is called runners. Seedless grapes ripen at a different speed and are usually sweeter.
In both cases the vine yields are reduced.
Between July and September in the northern hemisphere and between January and March in the south, the phenomenon called “Envero” takes place. This is when the grapes begin to ripen, it starts with the change of colour of the grapes, the red ones become purple and the white ones more green-golden, initially they are all green.
From veraison to harvest, the grapes grow, the water and sugar content increases, the acids decrease. The compounds responsible for aromas and flavours develop, as well as tannins. The best conditions for ripening are mild temperatures, sunlight and a little stress created by water shortage, so that vegetative growth is restricted and the plant puts the effort into ripening the fruit.
Harvest takes place between September and October in the northern hemisphere and between March and April in the southern hemisphere. During this period it is best that it does not rain. Rain dilutes the flavours and can lead to an increase in diseases.
Finally comes the winter rest, when the temperature drops, the leaves turn yellow, fall off, the carbohydrate reserves accumulate in the woody parts and the roots of the plant. This is when the vines go back to sleep to offer us their best face for the next harvest.
At Barcolobo we take great care of the grapes during the whole process and as a result we obtain our delicious wines, where you will be able to notice all the care of the process through an exquisite and unique flavour that will make you become a passionate of these wines. You can discover our wines here, enjoy the gift of the grape harvest.