Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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cut cane, viticultural technique designed to increase the sugar concentration in almost-ripe grapes. The term originated in Australia, where this technique is typically used to produce sweet wines, but it is apparently also used occasionally for dry red wines, for example, by Bertani in the Veneto, and even for Spätburgunder in Germany, even though it is illegal there. By cutting the canes almost at the time of harvest, water supply to the fruit is halted, and so the berries start to shrivel (as in the production of dried-grape wines). Sugar concentration is elevated as water is lost through the berry skin and acidity may also be increased. The technique, resulting in grapes known as passerillés in French, was developed to avert rain spoilage of drying grapes.