Appears in
Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

sugars, simpler members of the large group of natural organic chemical compounds called carbohydrates. The sugar of common parlance, sucrose, comes from either sugar cane or sugar beet plants and is a major international commodity. To scientists, sucrose is a molecule made up of one unit of each of glucose and fructose linked together with the elimination of a molecule of water.

Plants produce sucrose by photosynthesis, many of them accumulating sucrose within their cells but others, such as the common wine vine vinifera, breaking this sucrose down into its two simpler constituent parts, glucose and fructose, which are stored in the berries. american vines store small amounts of sucrose in the fruit along with the two simpler forms. Over the millennia during which people have selected grape vines, they have chosen those capable of photosynthesizing an excess of sugars and storing them in berries. For more detail, see sugar in grapes.