Vegetative cycle of the vine
The vegetative cycle is characterised by several stages.
After several months of rest (December to late February/early March),
the vine wakes up with exudations from the pruning wounds:
It's called the weeping!
Towards the beginning of April, the protective scales covering the bud break away, revealing the bud: this is the budburst.
After the first leaves and bunches of grapes appear, flowering begins (in June).
The weather conditions are therefore crucial. In absolute terms, temperatures should be between 20 and 25°C and there should be almost no precipitation. Unfortunately, in some years, unfavourable weather conditions cause poor fertilisation.
When the ovules are fertilised, the fruit develops: this is the fruit set phase.
The berries grow while remaining green. From mid-July onwards, the grapes change colour, this is the véraison.
During this phase, the colour becomes stronger and the amount of acid decreases sharply, while the amount of sugar increases rapidly. In addition, new phenolic compounds are developed, in particular tannins, colouring and aromatic materials.
When these various components are at their maximum, maturity is reached and the harvest can begin. Ripeness varies according to the grape variety. Some varieties are earlier than others.
From mid-November onwards, the leaves begin to fall and the vines begin to rest. It is important to know that the vine builds up its reserves from mid-August onwards, this is the "aûtement": the sap starts to descend and the reserves will accumulate in the roots. This phase lasts until mid-November.