Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

ripeness, term used to describe that stage of the continuous process of grape ripening or development which is chosen by the winemaker and/or grape processor as that desired at harvest. What constitutes the ideal chemical and physical composition of grapes at this point is a subjective judgement dependent on wine style, the winemaker’s current belief about optimal ripeness, fashion, and many other factors, so ripeness is a relative term which can have many different meanings. Grapes considered at perfect ripeness by one winemaker for one purpose may be considered overripe or underripe by different winemakers for other uses.