WHAT THE GRAPE-WINE NEEDS TO SURVIVE
- Plants Needs Sun, Heat, Water and Nutrients. Plants Take Carbon Dioxide From the Air and Uses the Sunlight, Heat, Nutrients From the Soil and Chlorophyll In the Leaves to Produce Sugars/ Glucose and Oxygen. Plants Take In Carbon Dioxide From the Air and Breaths Out Oxygen.
- Grapes Develop Sugar On Vine as a Bi-Product of Photosynthesis.
PHOTOSYNTHESIS= Process by Which Green Plants Use Sunlight to Synthesize Food From Carbon Dioxide and Water. (Involves Green Pigment Chlorophyll and Generates Oxygen as a By-Product)
- Stamata– Pores On the Leaves of Plants Where Gas Exchange Takes Place, If Temperature Too Hot Pores Close Down Hindering Photosynthesis.
- Environmental Factors– Photosynthesis Can Take Place at Temperatures Ranging from 32*-140*, Optimal Temperature 77*-82*. At Temperatures Lower Than 68*, or Higher Than 86* Rates of Photosynthesis Diminishes
**Different Varietals Evolve to Different Heat Levels.
- Internal Factors– Moisture (Must Have Some Moisture for Process)
- Genetic Factors– Varietals
- Cultivation Practices– Aspect, Planting Distance, Irrigation, Canopy Management
**White/ Black Grapes Refers to the Lowest Common Denominator When Mentioning Grape Color, but Obviously More Accurate Colors Exist
“Grapes are the Only Fruit with Enough Sugar to Ferment Into a Drink with Enough Alcohol to Preserve it.”
GRAPE RIPENESS vs. PHYSIOLOGICAL MATURITY
RIPENESS= As Grapes Mature On the Vine, Sugar Accumulates and Acidity Levels Drop, While at the Same Time Tannins and Pigments Develop. Generally Ripeness Equals Depth, Intensity, Balance In Wine. If Grapes Ripen Too Quickly They Loose Their Acidity. Unlike Most Fruit Crops Grapes Don’t Continue to Ripen After Harvest
- Shelling- When Grapes Fall Off Cluster, Due to Overripeness, Stress or Vine Disease.
GRAPE RIPENING= To Make or Become Ripe, Riper or Mature. Refers to the Flavors In the Grape. To Develop Fully Grapes Need Hang-Time On Vine to Develop Complexed Characteristic Before Maturity.
- Ripeness Measured Analytically- Must Weight, Acidity, PH. Levels
- Used to Predict Optimum Harvest Date and Wine Quality
- It’s Idea For Grape Ripeness to Be Controlled by a Long, Cool Growing Season with Optimal Balance Between Acid and Sugars.
- Grapes Should Ripen at the “Climatic Edge” of a Regions Growing Season and Grapes Should Match by Budding/ Ripening Tendencies
MILLERANDANGE/ Hen & Chicken/ Pumpkin & Peas= Small Berries That Stay On the Vine/ Don’t Develop Properly, Bunches That Contain Berries That Very In Size, Shape and Maturity. Millerandange is Caused by Unfertilized Flowers.
PHYSIOLOGICAL GRAPE MATURITY= Refers to the Development of the Tannins and Acidity. Determined by Tasting Grapes and Observing the Color of Their Seeds. If Maturity Lags Behind Ripeness, Grapes Might Need Extended “Hand Time”, But This Comes with Risk. Extended Hand Time Gradually Loses Acidity and Fruitiness. Although Desirable Grape Ripeness and Physiological Grape Maturity Doesn’t Always Happen In Synchronicity.
HANG-TIME= Amount of Time Bunches “Hang” On Vine After Veraison Until Harvested.
Extended “Hang-Time” Allow Additional Time to Increase Complexity and Balance. As Long as the Bunches are Still Attached Metabolism is Still Working and Building New Molecules/ Aroma and Flavors.
- Balanced Between Accumulation of Sugars, and Decreasing Plant Acids
- Timing is Key, Longer and Extended “Hang-Time” and Ripening Period Enables Grapes to Retain Acidity While They Develop Sugar. Hang-Time Allows Producers to Wait to Achieve What They Are Hoping for Stylistically . You Don’t Have to Take Advantage of Hang-Time but It’s There is You Desire.
- Earlier Harvest Leaves Grapes Less Ripe With High Acid and Thin Body, Late Harvest Leaves Grapes More Ripe with Less Acidity and Bigger Body
- Heat Near Harvest Time Can Speed Up Sugar Accumulation/ Drive Up Sugar Faster Than Flavors are Maturing/ Developing.
- Over Ripe Grapes Lead to Homogeneous Flavors
- Rain at Harvest Time Can Water Log Grape and Dilute Sugar Levels. Rain Can Also Advance Rot and Disease In Vineyards.
- Grapes Should Be Ripe to the Grape Growing/ Wine Makers Taste/ Palate and to Laboratory Analysis(Brix, PH.)
PICKING DECISION– The Exact Hour On the Exact Morning You Choose to Harvest.
The Picking Decision is One of the Crucial Steps In the Wine Making Process. A Myriad of Different Things Play Into This but the Most Important are…
- Seed Development- Brown with Slight Crunch
- Grape Color- Grape Must Be Mature and Display Developed Colors
- Laboratory Analysis-
- Sometime Weather Doesn’t Cooperate and the Picking Decision is Decided by Mother Nature
SEED RIPENESS– The Period Before Harvest the Seeds Must be Diligently Watch For Ripeness. Seeds Ripeness and Color Change from Green to Tan to Brown, This Signifies the Tannins Are Ripe and Peak Harvest Time is Near.
- Sugar, Acid Content, PH. Can All be Grafted Out of Paper to See if Grapes are Nearing Peak For Harvest, But the Best Measure of Grape Ripeness is Done by the Wine Makers Taste.
LIGNIFIED– To Turn Into Wood Though the Formation and Deposit of Lignin In the Cell Wall.
- Lignified Stems is When the Stems Go from Soft and Green to Hard, Brown and Lignified. Completion of the Process is a Tell-Tail Sign That the Grapes have Completed Harvesting.
Grape Vines Pick-Up What They Uptake In Their Surrounding. They Take In Oxygen and Spit Out Carbon Dioxide. Air Goes Through Leaves and Pick Up Scents, and Environmental Subtleties of their Surroundings.
“To Produce Complexed Grapes You Must Make the Vine Struggle.”
- When the Grape Vine is Provided Everything it Needs In the Form of Water or Nutrition it Doesn’t Produce Its Best Fruit. If the Grape Vine is Put In Distress From Lack of Water or Other Viticulture Challenges it Has an Internal Biological Signal That Makes the Vine Focus its Energy On Reproductive Aspects/ Growing Better Fruit and Not Vegetative Canopy Growth.
- Early Ripening Grapes Have Genetically Evolved to Avoid Winter/ Cold
- EARLY RIPENING GRAPES Of The WORLD
- WHITE= Chardonnay, Verdelho, Sauvignon Blanc
- Late Ripening Grapes Have Genetically Evolved to Avoid the Summer/ Heat
- LATE RIPENING GRAPES Of The WORLD
- RED= Grenache, Mourvèdre, Carignan, Muscat Alexandria, Cabernet Sauvignon