Wine Word of the Week: Ripening

By Kori ~ October 2nd, 2010.

This week’s Wine Word of the Week is ripening.

Official definition from Jancis Robinson’s The Oxford Companion to Wine:
Ripening is 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.

Layman’s terms from Kori:
Ripening is the process in the annual growth cycle of the vine that takes place between veraison and harvest. On a basic level, the resulting ripeness of the grapes refers to their sunshine-derived sugar levels.

Filed under: Wine Word of the Week

Reader's Comments

  1. Becky Snyder | October 2nd, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    Oh but I wish we were ‘ripening’! We have yet to harvest any of our lovely later ripening Rhone varietals! Fingers crossed this is the week. Great post again Kori!

  2. Kori | October 2nd, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    Thanks, Becky. Yes, fingers crossed. Best of luck with harvest. Cheers!