October 13, 2020
Did you know that growing and tending grapevines in Missouri wine country is a year-round process? Those who grow and harvest grapes in Missouri work to ensure that vines are well-kept and produce quality grapes that make our award-winning wines.
Take a look at the lifecycle of a grapevine and the work that goes into keeping it healthy and productive.
Pruning is an important step in the vineyard during winter months and typically takes place after the coldest winter temperatures have passed. Pruning and training grapevines allows for the development of full, flavorful grape clusters in the summer months of the following year.
Read our article on pruning to learn more about this process.
Just as the warmth of spring awakens many plants across the Show-Me State, grapevine buds swell and break open to reveal the vine’s first leaves as temperatures warm in the vineyards. These buds will eventually grow into shoots.
Our article on bud break explains this process in greater detail.
As spring begins to turn to summer, grapevines across Missouri wine country begin to show signs of flowering. Flowers, which will later turn into grape berries, begin to emerge from their caps and bloom.
Learn more about flowering in our article on vineyards in bloom.
Summer Fruit Set
Summer leads to the beginning of one of the most exciting times in the vineyard, the development of grape berries. The flowers that opened and bloomed in the spring will turn into a seed that develops a berry to protect itself. Fruit set is the time when the bounty of a year’s crop can be determined.
To learn more about fruit set, read our article on how a new vintage emerges.
As fruit set concludes, grapes change color in a process called veraison. Veraison is when the berries on a grape cluster soften and assume their varietal-specific color. This is also an indicator that harvest is fast approaching.
Our article on veraison details this exciting time.
Harvest is a time of excitement in Missouri wine country, and is one of the busiest times for wineries. The months of August, September and October are generally the main timeframe for harvest in Missouri vineyards. During harvest, grape clusters are removed from the vine (either by hand or machine) and begin their journey through the winemaking process.
Our recent article on harvest describes the differences between machine and hand-harvest.
The best way to experience the lifecycle of a grapevine is to visit a Missouri winery and see the vineyards for yourself. Find a winery near you today!