Ripening, Grape

Appears in
Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

The important process of grape development which is a prelude to harvest. Ripening begins when the berries soften at the stage called veraison and is concluded normally by harvest, which can occur at different stages for different wine styles. Ripening can be affected by many plant, pest and disease, and environmental factors, and is in many ways the most important vine process affecting wine quality since it is so crucially related to the chemical and physical composition of the harvested fruit, and so to eventual wine quality.