No matter what season it is when you traipse through wine country with your VinGardeValise®, you can guarantee that the vineyards are full of action. While every stage in a grape’s life cycle is vital to growing the wine you love, late spring and summer are especially exciting as the growing season has started and prized grapes are on the way! Here, we will go over three stages of growth that occur in the vineyard during this very time (if you are in the Northern Hemisphere, that is).
After buds break on the vines but before flowering, inflorescences form. Inflorescences are small, tightly-packed, capped bunches of hundreds of flowers. The vitis vinifera species of vines pollinate themselves with the flowers within the inflorescences, though only a portion of these flowers will self-pollinate to become grape berries.
Flowers burst out of inflorescences and the caps fall away, allowing flowers to pollinate themselves as the wind shifts. Frost and wind are concerns at this stage, so vintners take extra precautions to protect tender young shoots. Some techniques for frost prevention include large fans to churn the air, sprinklers to spray vines with water to form a protective layer, and heaters to elevate the temperature in the vineyard.
After pollinated flowers drop their small petals, tiny green spheres begin to emerge on the tips of the stems. These little spheres will one day become the familiar grape clusters that turn into the delicious wine in your glass. Grapes ripen a little more each day, gaining Brix (sugar), phenolics, and color with each hour of sunlight. During the cooler night hours, grape ripening slows, allowing acids to collect underneath the skins.
In Celebration of Great Wine
A lot happens in the process of moving from vine to glass, much of which contributes to just how exquisitely the final vintage tastes. In our experience, part of fully experiencing delectable wines is being able to appreciate its sense of place, which is directly tied to its seasons of growth. Understanding the lifecycle of the grapevine not only enriches your wine tasting experiences but allows you to comprehend just how intricately cared for each cluster of grape is. When we first envisioned the VinGardeValise®, we set out to craft a wine suitcase that takes wine seriously. Since then, we’ve been entirely pleased with the results. Each trip you take with the suitcase connects you to vineyards, vintners, and vines in wine countries around the world.
Thanks for letting us be a small part of the grape’s journey!