Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

dormancy, sleep, the normal state of vines in winter. This period nominally starts with autumn leaf fall, although buds are in a state of so-called organic dormancy from veraison onwards. The period of dormancy ends with budbreak in the spring. Pruning is carried out when the vines are dormant, and buds and cuttings taken from the vines at this time are used in propagation. Tests on vines in winter show they are literally asleep or dormant, with minimal metabolic activity.


  1. Lavee, S., and May, P., ‘Dormancy of grapevine buds—facts and speculation’, Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research, 3 (1997), 31–46.