Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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flowering, important event in the annual growth cycle of vines, the process preceding the fertilization of vine flowers and their subsequent development into berries. The sequence of events includes the opening of individual flowers, with the calyptra (fused cap of petals) being shed, pollen being liberated, and ovules becoming fertilized. Fertilization leads to berries being set (see fruit set), the stage following flowering.

Compared with many other plants, the vine has unattractive small green flowers, and the flowering process in the vineyard is so notably unspectacular that it is likely to be missed by the casual observer. The vine-grower, however, is aware that this process is particularly important in the chain of events that leads up to harvest, and, with some varieties and some weather conditions, a poor flowering can mean financial disaster for the vineyard owner.