1. Ampelography
    2. What is Vine Anatomy?
    3. Grape Development/ Ripeness
    4. Wine & Chemistry

1) AMPELOGRAPHY Field of Botany Concerned With Identifying and Classification of Grape-Vines Species.

  • Historically/ Traditionally Done by Comparing the Shapes and Colors of the Vines Leaves, Grapes and Shapes of Clusters. Recently the Study of Ampelography Has Been Revolutionized by DNA. Finger-Printing.
  • ~Etymology~ From Greek Word Ampelos Meaning For Vine…Grape…Meaning For Describe.

HISTORY Of AMPELOGRAPHY Before 1800’s Vine Description Was Poor and Not Really a Focus In the Wine World.  People Wrote Mainly About Grape Aptitudes or Qualities of the Different Varieties. After a Series of Disease and Parasites In Europe it Become Necessary to Study Species Varieties For Their Resistance and Susceptibility to Theses Events.

    • 1852-  Powdery Mildew
    • 1863-  Phylloxera
    • 1878-  Downy Mildew
    • 1885-  Black Rot
    • **Refer to VITICULTURE/ Viticultural challenges For Detailed Information On These Topics.
    • ~Pierre Galet~ IdentificationTeaching of Vine Root-Stock and Grape Varietals.
    • ~Carole Meredith~ California, Grape Geneticist, and Professor at UC. Davis.
    • ~Henri Bouschet~ French, Early Grape Hybridizer.
    • ~Herman Muller~ German, German Grape Crossing Scientist.
    • ~Dr. Harold Olmo~ UC. Davis, Championed New Crossing of European Varietals.
    • ~Elmer Swanson~ Viticulturist, Crossed Grapes to Produce Hybrids.


VARIETY- Refers to a Single Specific Type of Grape With It’s Unique Characteristics.

    • Variety Refers to a Type of Grape, Varietal Refers to the Type of Grape In Bottle.

CULTIVAR- Specific Plants Selected For Desirable Characteristics, Persistent Under Cultivation That Can Be Maintained by Propagation.  AKA=Stud


  • Each Organ of the Vine: Growing Tips, Leaves, Shoots, Clusters Can Establish a Classification by Taking Into Account the Characters of That Specific Organ.


  • Classification Based On Budding Time and the Maturation of the Fruit of the Different Variety.



  • PIONEERS~ ~A.M. Negrul~  Ground Breaking, Russian Ampelographer.
    • Occidentalis– Corresponds to Western Europe Origins
      • ~Examples~ Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Pinot
    • Pontica- Corresponds to Central Europe/ Aegean Sea/ Caucasus, Origins
      • ~Examples~ Furmint
    • Orientalis- Corresponds to Middle East Origins
      • ~Examples~ Muscat Alexandria


VITICULTURAL DISCLAIMER~ This List Below Are Historical Methods, Now Grapes Are Identified by DNA Profiling.

  • Growing Tip Grouping of Tiny Young Leaves, Still Unopened and Pressed Together, Located at the Tip of the Shoot During  the Growing Period.
  • Grape Vine- Fuzzy, Hairless, Shinny, Cotton-Like
  • Leaves- Shape of Lobes/ Fingers, Shield, Solid, Thick/ Thin
  • Petiolar Sinus- Space Around Stem or Leaves
  • Clusters/ Bunches Shape-
  • Berries-
  • Shoots & Canes-
  • Grape Color-
    • **All Grapes Classified Under White/ Black Heading Unless I Possess Knowledge of a More Detailed Color to Classify Them Under.
    • WHITE- (W)-General Term For All Grapes Not Considered Black.
    • WHITE-  Yellow-(Y),  Light Green-(LG.),  Green,-(G),  Dark Green-(DG.)
    • BLACK- (B)-General Term For All Grapes Not Considered White.
    • BLACK-  Blue-(BL.),  Red-(R),  Purple-(P)
    • MID-COLORED- (M)- Between Black & White (Rouge, Rose, Gris)
    • TEINTURIER- (T)- Grapes Whose Flesh and Juice is Red In Colored From Anthocyanin Pigments Accumulation Within Pulp.


  • Multivariate Relationship Among Accessions Revealed 16 Genetic Group Structured Into 3 Groups Supporting the Classical Eco-Geographic Grouping of Grape Cultivars…Occidentalis, Pontica, Orientalis.
  • Grapes Have Identity Markers That Show Inheritance.
  • Most Classic Wine Grapes Have Identifiable Parents. Some Parents Can Never Be Identified Because the Parent Grape Has Been Lost In Antiquity.
  • Variety is What Type of Grape it is, Varietal is What’s In the Bottle.

One Grape is Either a Progenitor to Another Grape or a Sub-Type of Another With a Clonal Distinction.


  • Parent-
  • Off-Spring/ Progeny-
  • Sibling-
  • Half Sibling-
  • Grand-Parent-
  • Grand-Son-
  • Uncle-

PROGENY- Descendant of a Person, Plant or Animal Off-Spring.


PEDIGREE- A Record of Decent of a Plant or Animal Showing to Be Pure Bred.

  • Recorded of a Line of Progeny or Ancestor.

HYBRIDIZATION- Achieved by Applying Pollen of Male Parent With Brush to Emasculated Female Receptive Stigma Which Subsequently Grows.

  • Vines Highly Heterozygous…Refering to a Pair of Genes Where One is Dominant and One is Ressive.

European Looked Down On Hybrids Until it Became Evident That Grafting On American Rootstock Could be the Answer to Phylloxera Issue.


  • Bunches/ Clusters Vary by Vine Varietal, Size, Shape, Fruit-Set, Tightness, Density, Formation, Number of Berries In a Bunch.
  • Berry The Size and Uniformity of Berry Can Be Different. Firmness of Pulp.  Considerable Factor In Wine Quality, Increased Skin to Juice Ratio Results In Higher Concentration of Anthocyanins, Phenolics, and Flavor Compounds Mostly Contained In Skins Skin to Juice Ratio.
  • Leaves Galet’s Protractor/ Ruler- Used to Measure and Code Different Sizes and Shapes of Different Grape Varietals.
  • Skin Thickness Black Grapes With Thick Skins Naturally Have More Tannins Than Grapes With Thin Skins. The Skin to Juice Ratio Can Change With Irrigation(Non-Irrigated Crops Will Bring In Less Yields, the Higher Skin to Juice Ratio Will Show In Taste and Quality.)
  • Susceptibility to Disease
  • Heartiness
  • Taste/ Flavor Profile Amount of Sweetness
  • Personal Traits Characteristics of the Fruit Itself, Colors Aromas, Flavors.
  • Performance Factors Refers to How the Grapevine Grows, When it Buds, How the Fruit Ripens, and How Quickly it Ripens.
  • Color-
    • WHITE= Yellow, Light Green, Green, Dark Green, Gold
    • BLACK= BLue, Red, BURgundy, Purple
  • WINE & PHILOSOPHY?  Can We Trace the Evolutionary Trail of Vitis Venifera From It’s Beginning Origins Through its History of Splitting Into Different Major Progenitors Across Multiple Continents and Countries Into the 2,000+ Grapes Varietals That Make Up the Wine World Today?
    • The First Appearance of a Vine Later Named Vitis Vinifera Sylvetris Appeared 200-Million Year Ago. All Grapes Today Are Descended From This Single “Vitis Vinifera” Wild-Grape Variety. The Caucasus Mountains In Mesopotamia(Now Georgia) Are Origin of Vitis Vinifera. Over Time Vines, Wines and Viticulture Spread South Down the Tigris River and Euphrates Rivers to the Larger Cities of the Earliest Civilizations of Babylon and Persia(Now Iran). This Area Became Center of Ancient Grape Growing World. Eventually Wine Spread to Egypt, Who Introduced Wine to Greece, Who Introduced Wine to the Romans, Who Introduced Wine to the Rest of Europe, Who Introduced Wine Throughout the Modern New World.


VINE MORPHOLOGY Study of the Form and Structure of the Vine.

PLANT Living Organism, Typically Growing In a Permanent Site, Absorbing Water and Inorganic Substances Through Its Roots and Synthesizing Nutrients In it Leaves by Photosynthesis Using Chlorophyll.

VINE Plant With a Weak Stem Which Supports Itself by Climbing On Neighboring Plants, Walls, or Other Support Structures it Can Attach to.

  • The Vine Has the Ability to Adjust Its Development Throughout the Growing Season Depending On Growing Conditions.
  • Perennials- A Plants That Die to the Ground at the End of the Season, and Then Regrow From the Same Roots the Following Year.

VINE STRUCTURE- Anything We Want to Do With a Grape Vine Requires Knowledge of Its Structure.

    • Establish Roots
    • Training the Vine Into a Particular Shape.
    • Pruning
    • Trunk
    • Arms
    • Canes

The Grape Vine is Comprised of Many Key Structures That Are Critical of Its Function, the Truck, Arms, Root, Shoot and Fruit System All Play Important Roles In Producing Quality Grapes.


  • ROOTS Provides Anchorage, Absorption of Water, Nutrients, Storage of Carbohydrates, and Production of Growth Hormones.
    • Feeder Roots
  • SCION The Point Where the Vine is Grafted to the Rootstock.
  • ROOTSTOCK- Used to Induce or Reduce Scion Vigor or to Overcome Specific Soil Limitations Caused by Physical Factors, or Biological Factors.
    • Grape Vine is a Riparian Plant, Meaning Its Used to Surviving On Water Supplied by Nearby Rivers and Creeks.
    • Tap Roots- Roots System That Features a Single Main Root With Branches Off a Central Root Structure
    • Soil Pits- Digging  Hole In Your Vineyard/ Soil Pits Are Essential to Understand the Physical Composition of Your Soil and Your Vineyard.
      • Digging Soil Pits Between Rows is Ideal For Observing the Rooting Pattern of Your Vines.
    • The Majority of Grape Vine Roots Are Found at Depths of 3- 5 Feet.
    • There Are Numerous Factors That Affect Root Depth and Development.
      • Moist Soil Encourage Root Development
      • Soil Structure
      • Soil Porosity
      • Claypan or Hardpan Soils Can Limit Root Exploration.
    • **Refer to VITICULTURE/ Choices & Decisions/ Rootstock For Additional Information.
    • Riparia Gloire
    • St. George-(Rupestris du Lot)
    • SO4-(Selection Oppenheim)
    • 5BB-(Kobe)
    • 5C-(Teleki)
    • 420A-(Millardet et de Grasset)
    • 99R-(Richter)
    • 110R-(Richter)


Older Base of Vine That Has Thickened With Time and Now Forms the Foundation of the Vine From the Ground or Scion  to the Head. The Trunk Provides Structure and Connects the Root System and Conducts All Nutrients to the Rest of the Plant.

  • Trunks Provide Buffer Zone Between Harsh Growing Conditions and Fruit.
  • The Height of the Trunks Which Was Formerly an Individual Shoot, Varies Depending On the Training System Selected. Its Generally Accepted That the Truck Ends When it Branches Off Into Another Direction.
  • During Vine Dormancy In Winter the Vine Will Shift All of Its Energy/ Sugar/ Nutrients to the Trunk and Roots.
  • Grapevines In Low Temperature Areas Will Be Trained to Have 2 or Even 4 Trunks.  This is Useful if One of the Trunks Are Injured or Die, the Vine Will Still Be Able to Produce a Crop.
  • Grape Vines In Low Temperature Areas Will Sometimes Be Trained to Have Two Trunks. If One of the Trunks is Severely Injured or Dies In a Weather Event It’s Useful to Have More Than One Trunk.

CROWN- The Top Area of the Trunk, Where the Cordons Come Out of.

  • Crown Gall Bacteria Infection, Renders Vines Incapable of Properly Repairing the Cold Damage to Their Trunks.

TRANSPIRATION- The Movement of Water Through the Grape-Vine/ Plant.

  • What Drives This Movement of Water is Evaporation of Water Through Its Leaves.  This Process Will Pull Water From the Soil Up Through the Vine to Its Leaves. (This Process Can Be Thought of Like a Wick From a Kerosene Candle.)

OSMOSIS- The Movement of Water From a High Water Potential to a Low Water Potential Through a Semi-Permeable Membrane.

Water Isn’t Being Pumped Up by the Roots, It’s Being Pulled Up by the Leaves.


  • ARMS The Trunk is Trained to Have One or More Branches. The Arm is the Part of Vines’s Framework From Which the Canes and Spurs Arise. Depending On the Type of Vine Training Used, Arms Can Be Permanent or Semi-Permanent.
  • CORDON- Arms That Are Positioned Horizontally and Are Rapped Around a Trellis Wire.
  • BI-LATERAL CORDON- Cordon That is Trained In Both Direction.
    • Cordon Supports the Shoots, Buds, Leaves and Fruit.
    • Cordons Are Important For Storage of Carbohydrates, Water and Other Chemical Compounds, and the Transport of These to Other Parts of the Vine.


  • CANE  Canes Develop From a Green Shoot the Previous Year That Has Lignify and Turn Brown. Canes That Are Two Years Old Are Classified as Old Wood.  All Along Canes Notes/ Buds Were Developing the Previous  Year.
    • Lateral Cane- 
  • SHOOT Grapevines New Growth, Green Stem That Eventually Sprout Leaves Which Development of Buds. Shoots are Often Supported by Wire or Other Trellising Systems.
    • In the Spring After the Buds Start to Swell, Shoot Emerge and Start Growing.
    • Green Shoots Ripen at the End of the Growing Season Into Woody Brown Canes.
  • SPUR A Shortened Grape Vine Cane. (Stub Formed by Pruning Cane)
    • (Spur is a Cane That Was Pruned to a Few Nomes)
    • Spurs and Canes Provides the Buds For Shoot and Fruit Growth the Following Season.
  • LATERAL SHOOT Secondary Shoot That Grows From Axil of the Main Shoot.
  • NODE Inlarged Area Every 4-5 Inches On the Cane.
    • Internode Area Between Each of the Nodes/ Buds.
    • Nodes Consist of 3 Buds…Primary Bud, Secondary Bud, Tertiary Bud.
    • Generally Nodes Are Considered Buds and Are Referred to as So.
  • BUDS Compressed Shoot Surrounded by Protective Tissue. Part of Vine Shoot Which Rests Between Leaf Stalk and Shoot Stem. Buds Determine This Year if They’re Going to Produce Fruit Next Year by Being Exposed to Sunlight This Year.
    • When a Bud Ends Its Dormancy it Expands and a Shoot Emerges. (That Shoot Already Started to Develop In the Previous Growing Season.)
    • All Buds Are Considered a Compound Bud, Containing Three Distinct Growing Points, Each Capable of Producing a Shoot.
    • Buds Can Come From 2 Areas On the Vine. From the Nodes On Canes and Base of Green Shoots.
    • Primary Buds
    • Secondary Buds If Vine is Healthy the Secondary Shoot From the Bud Will Emerge and Grow.
    • Tertiary Buds- Most of the Time the Tertiary Bud Does Not Emerge and Grow.
      • Axillary Buds– A Bud Formed In the Leaf Axil.
      • Latend Buds
      • Base Buds Develops at the Base of Green Shoots.
  • TENDRIL Coiling and Clasping Organ/ Growing Tip That Facilitate the Climbing Habit of the Vine and Enables the Stem of a Plant to Climb.  Tendrils Develops at Two of Every Three Consecutive Nodes. After the Tendril Coils Around the Trellis Wire/ Branch or Object it Becomes Lignified.
    •  Should the Vineyard Manager Cut of the Extra Tendrils For Maximum Vigor During First Years Growth?
  • RACHIS Stem of Vine
  • PEDICELS Part That Attach the Berry to the Rachis.
    • Leaves   |   Tendrils     
    • Lateral Shoots   |   Clusters


  • LEAFS Structure That Forms On Green Shoots.  Leafs Are the Part of the Vine Which is Crucial to Photosynthesis and Transpiration. Vines Take Many of Its Developmental Cues From the Leaves. Leaves Grow Literally Along the Shoots and Have Distinctive Growth Patterns. The Vein and Shape and Vein Structure of Leave Vary With Different Varieties of Grapes.
    • Blade- Flat Structure of the Leaf.
    • Margin- Edging Around Leaf.
    • Petiole Stem or Stalk That Attach the Leaf Base to the Green Shoot and is Considered a Transition Zone Between the Two.
    • Petiolar Sinus- Portion of the Leaf That’s the angle Created by the Margin of the Leaf  Where the Petiole Attached to the Blade.
    • Superior Sinus
    • Inferior Sinus
    • Mid Vein
    • Superior Lateral Vein
    • Inferior Lateral Vein
    • Basal Lobe
    • Apical Lobe
    • Stomata Pores On the Leaves of Plants Where Gas Exchange Takes Place, If Temperature Too Hot Pores Close Down Hindering Photosynthesis.
  • CANOPY Total Leaf and Stem System of Vine.

The Grapevine is an Efficient Photosynthesis Machine.

  • **Refer to VITICULTURE/ Canopy Management For Detailed Information.


INFLORESCENCE/ Flower Cluster/ Embryo Bunches- Structure That Develops Into a Bunch, These Contains Hundreds of Flower That Will Potentially Turn to Berries if They Make it Through Fruit-Set.  Each Shoot Produces Between One and 4 Inflorescence.  Inflorescence Only Develop On Shoots That Grow Out of Buds Retained On the Canes That Grew In the Prior Year.

  • STEM- General Term For Material That Holds the Cluster Together. Stems Consist of 2%-4% of the Cluster Weight.
    • Rachis Main Axis of the Cluster, Bearing Flower Stalks at Short Intervals.
    • Pedicel- Attach the Berries to the Rachis.
    • Peduncle- Bit That Attach the Cluster to the Vine.
  • FLOWER CLUSTER- Visible Cluster Before They Bloom, Every Flower Has the Potential to Turn Into a Berry.
    • Cap- Outside of a Cluster Flower.
    • Pistil The Female Part/ Organs of a Flower, Comprising the Stigma, Style and Ovary.
      • Stigma Pollen-Bearing Part of Flower, Where Pollen Enters the Pistil
      • Style- Part of the Pistil Between the Ovary and the Stigma.
      • Ovary- Female Portion of the Flower, The Enlarged Lowrys Part of the Pistil, Enclosing the Ovules or Young Seeds.
    • Stamen- The Male Reproductive Organ of the Flower.
      • AntherThe Part of the Stamen That Contains Pollen.
      • Filament- The Stalk of the Stamen.
      • Pollen Male Spores Produced In the Anther of the Flower, The Grains Which Carry Male Gametes In Sexual Propagation.
  • BLOOM- AKA=Flowering, Occurs 4- 6 Weeks After Bud Break.
    • During Bloom the Grape Flowers Are Vulnerable to Damage From Wind, Rain, and Cold/ Frost.
    • Full Bloom Can Take Anywhere From 1 Day to 2 Weeks.

GRAPE CLUSTER A Fertilized Inflorescence, Comprised of Many Berries.

CLUSTERS- Clusters Don’t Form On Grape Shoots Until Well Into the Growing Season.

  • Cluster Shapes-
    • Conical/ Shouldered, Conical(Short), Conical(Long), Cylindrical, Cylindrical(Winged), Double Cluster
  • Ways Bunches Differ-  
    • Shape, Bunch Weight, Elongation, Wings
  • Proportion Rate-
    • Percentage of Flowers That Received Pollen and is Now a Grape.
  • Cluster Wings- Secondary Cluster That Hangs Off the Back of the Main Cluster.
  • Cluster Integrity- Clusters Should Be Hanging Without Touching Each Other.  They Should Be Hanging In Dappled Sunlight If Possible.

The Grape is a Capsule For Seed Dispersal.

GRAPE–  Berry/ Fruit of the Grapevine Comprised of Seed, Pulp, Skin.

  • Cylindroidal
  • Datiform
  • Ellipsoidal
  • Elongated
  • Falcoid
  • Oblate
  • Obovoid
  • Ovoid(Oval)
  • Spherical(Round)
  • Truncate
    • SKIN Outer Layer of Grape, Provides the Holding Structure For the Flesh and Seeds.
    • Anthocyanins
    • Aroma Compounds
    • Sugars
    • Methoxpyrazines
    • Minerals
    • Organic Acids
    • Polysaccharides
    • Tannins/ Flavan-3-ols
    • Vineyard Microflora
    • In Hot Climates or Hot Years Grapes Develop Too Quickly Resulting In Thinner Skins and Less Color In the Wine.
  • TERPENESGroup of Chemical Compounds/ Molecules Present In Skins of Certain Vitus Vinifera Varietals That Are Responsible For the Distinctive Floral and Spice Aromatics Scents of Wine. (Over 50 Terpenic Compounds Have Been Identified In Grapes and Wine)
    • **Refer to THE GRAPE ITSELF/ Anatomy For Detailed Information.
  • RESVERATROL- Phenolic Compound Found In Grape Skin, Synthesized as a Response to Natural UV. Sunlight.
    • Reduces Serum, Cholesterol Levers (Prevents Arteries Clogging)
    • Increases +HDL. Good Cholesterol – Decreases -LDL. Bad Cholesterol.
    • Reduces Ulcers/ Diminishes Ulcer Causing Bacteria.
    • Resveratrol Monomers- Resveratrol Tetramers Are Formed From 4 Monomers or 2 Different Dimers/ Monomers and a Trimer. Their Comples Structures Lead to Different Biological Activities.
      • Trans-Piceid                       Cis-Piceid
      • Trans-Resveratrol             Cis-Resveratrol
    • FLESH/ PULP– Flesh/ Soft Tissue of Grape Inside the Skin, Source of Juice. There’s an Outer-Flesh Layer and an Inner-Flesh Layer.
    • Sugars
    • Organic Acids
    • Proteins
    • Minerals
    • Enzymes
    • Aroma Compounds
    • SEEDS– Flowering Plants Unit of Reproduction, Capable of Developing Into Another.
      • 1-4 Seed Per Berry: Small Berries 0-2 Seeds/ Large Berries 3-4 Seeds.
    • Non-Flavonoids-
    • Tannins/ Flavan-3-ols-
    • Oils-
    • Pulp- 75%
    • Skin- 20%
    • Seeds- 5% (2-4 seeds)
    • Water- 75%

    • Sugar/ Glucose, Fructose- 18-30%
    • Acids/ Tartaric, Malic- .3-1.5%
    • Proteins/ Amino Acids-
    • Esters, Polyphenols, Minerals, Flavonoid, Tannins– 1%
    • Central Zone- (Near the Seeds) Sugar, Malic Acid
    • Intermediate Zone- (Middle Berry) Sugar, Tartaric Acid, Water
    • Peripheral Zone- (Skin) Tannins, Astringency
      • Contains Vascular Bundles/ Vacuoles, These Are Filled With Phenols/ Polyphenols Compounds, These Are Shattered During Pressing and Properties Leak-Out Into Juice.
    • Alcohols- (23) Ethanol, Glycerol
    • Dissolved Gases- Carbon Dioxide, Sulphur Dioxide(Total/ Free)
    • Volatile Substances- Water, Acetaldehyde, Acetic Acid
    • Esters-(80) Aldehydes
    • Fixed Substances- Residual Sugar, Glycerol, Phenolics
    • Organic Acids- (27) Tartaric Acid, Malic Acid, Latic Acid, Succinic Acid, Citric Acid
    • Mineral Salts- Sulphates, Chlorides, Phosphates
    • Mineral Elements- Potassium, Calcium, Copper, Iron
    • Sugars-
    • Phenols-

Vines Are Strong, Grapes Are Fragile.



  • 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)

  • Stomata Pores On the Leaves of Plants Where Gas Exchange Takes Place, If Temperature Too Hot Pores Close Down Hindering Photosynthesis.
    • Effects to Stomata- In Winds Over 10 MPH. the Grape Vine Will Actually Shut Down the Stomata (Which Are the Poor In the Leaves).  This Happens Because Through Photosynthesis the Grapevine Respires Water Vapor.  If the Vine Loses Too Much Water From Excessive Wind the Vine Can’t Achieve Proper 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.

VIGOR  The Amount of Growth(Shoots, Leaves, Grapes) Produced by a Vine Over the Course of a Growing Season. The Amount of Vigor Can and Does Vary In the Vineyard For a Variety of Reasons.

  • Choices and Decision Can Be Made When Establishing a Vineyard and Growing Grapes With High Vigor or Vigorous Terroir.
    • Trellis System, Vine Training, Canopy Management, Cover Crops Can All Be Done to Help Limit Vigor.
    • Grape Variety   |   Vine Spacing
    • Various Soil Depth Within a Vineyard
    • Different Altitude Within Vineyard
    • Different Benches In a Vineyard
    • Different Aspects Within a Vineyard
    • Sub-Valleys Within a Vineyard

OVERCROPPING- Purposefully Not Pruning During Winter, Over Fertilizing, and Not Cutting Back To Achieve Higher Yields Which Results In Lower Quality Grapes, More Juice But Lack Ripeness, Color, Sugar.


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. The Warmer the Climate the Faster Grapes Will Ripen.  A Slow Pace of Ripening Improves Quality and Depth of Flavors and Complexity. Colder Night Compared to Daytime Temperature (Diurnal Shifts) Will Lead to Slower Ripening and a Extended Growing Season.

  • 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.
  • Its 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.

  • Excessive Ripeness- Phenomenon of Grape Reaching Beyond Ripeness/ Becoming High In Sugar Content Before the Grape Are Considered Phenologically Ripe.

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.

  • Additional Hang-Time Helps the Balance 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 if 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-Spikes 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.
  • Taste- With All the Analysis Availble to Growers the Most Powerful Tool is the Grape In the Mouth.
  • Laboratory Analysis-
  • Weather- 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.
    • White= Chardonnay, Fruhroter Veltliner, Verdelho, Sauvignon Blanc
    • Red= Pinot Noir


  • Late Ripening Grapes Have Genetically Evolved to Avoid the Summer/ Heat.
    • White= Muscat Alexandria
    • Red= Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan, Garnacha, Mourvèdre, Nebbiolo, Sagrantino, Tannat


  • Phase In the Grapevines Annual Growth Cycle Which Occurs In Winter and Into Early Spring. Dormancy Officially Begins When All/ Most of the Leaves Naturally Fall of the Vine.  This Annual Phase Helps the Vines to Better Tolerate Cold Winter Temperatures and Also Help the Vine to Regenerate and Aids In the Flowering and Vegetive Growth That Occurs In Springtime When the Vine Awakens.


Complexed Mixture of Chemical Compounds In a Hydo-Alcoholic Solution With a PH. Around 4.  This is the Wikipedia Definition of Wine Chemistry, In Reality Wine Chemistry is Much More Complexed and Much More Detailed. Wine Chemistry Involves Everything That makes Up Wine and How They All Interact. Much of What Makes Up Wine Chemistry is Already Covered In In Different Chapter and Are Referred to as So.

  • PIONEERS~ ~Antoine Lavoisier~  FranceChemist of 1700’s
    • Referred to as the “Grandfather of Modern Wine”. Is Considered to Be the First Person to Explain Wine’s Chemistry With Any Degree of Accuracy.
  • PIONEERS~ ~Luis Pasteur~  First to Define the Biological Process of Fermentation and Put Forth the Fact That Yeast Are What Causes Grape Juice to Ferment and Establish Connection Between Preservation of Wine and Direct Exposure to Oxygen.
    • Winemakers Now Have Complete Control of All Aspects of Fermentation Including Specific Out-Comes of Yeast, Regulating Speed, Temperature, and Length.

WHAT MAKES UP WINE CHEMISTRY- On a Basic Level Wine Chemistry Can Be Broken Down Into These 10 Topics.

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    • **Refer to WINE EVALUATION/ Structure For Detailed Information
    • **Refer to WINE EVALUATION/ Structure For Detailed Information
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    • **Refer to WINE EVALUATION/ Aroma For Detailed Information.
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    • **Refer to WINE EVALUATION/ Flavor For Detailed Information.
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**Refer to BIBLIOGRAPHY/ Sources For Details On Scholarly Works Referenced.