Leaf Removal

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

leaf removal, vineyard practice aimed at helping to control botrytis bunch rot and other bunch rots, and at improving grape composition and therefore wine quality. Typically the leaves are removed around the bunches to increase exposure to the sun and wind. The bunches dry out more quickly after dew and rain so that moulds are less likely to develop. Increased exposure to sunlight, especially to ultraviolet radiation, helps the berries produce more of the phenolics important in wine quality. Grape sugars are also increased and malic acid and methoxypyrazines are reduced, all of which contribute to improved wine quality. Leaf removal is also used to improve the colour of black and red table grapes.