The Life of a Grape: Part One

A Back to Basics Series

Grape Vine: a vine native to both Eurasia and North America, especially one bearing fruit (grapes) used for eating or winemaking. 

In the last blog post, we touched on what wine was. If you read it, you’re probably thinking, “That’s great and all, but, now what?!” If you haven’t read it, I’ll link it here for you to take a peek. Be sure to let me know your thoughts!

Today, we’re taking a look at The Life of a Grape. This is super exciting to me, since the nerd in me loves to know HOW things work and where they come from (can you tell I studied psychology?).

We’ll talk a little about the planting and dormancy of those little fruits, as they grow. I’m also going to touch on the flowering and budding process. Some of you are looking at the screen blankly, like “uhhh, what? I have no idea what any of those are.” Don’t fret, we’re all about breaking things down in this blog.

Grab a glass of wine, and let’s get reading!

PLANTING: Placing (a seed, bulb, or plant) in the ground so that it can grow.
I want you to think of the grape vine as a little infant. That care and attention a vineyard will give this little vine is what you can expect a Mamma to give her baby.

The little vine usually gets planted in (very) late winter, or early spring. This is the ideal time for our little ones to be placed in the ground. Why? Simple. The threat of frostbite is over, and the soil is nice and nourished with the rainfall. And, they get that lovely sunshine and warmth, too.

Fun Fact: Grape vines are perennial plants! This means they only have to be planted once,and can last many years, opposed to an annual plant, which only has the life span of a year!

DORMANCY: A deep sleep.
Now that those little babies are placed into the soil, they need to sleep. This part of the process can take up to three years. Sometimes a little less, sometimes a little more.

This doesn’t mean out of sight, out of mind. Oh, nooo. They’re babies, remember? They need the love and attention that come with one, too.
The first year, in my opinion, is the most important. This is the year that is really focused on shaping these vines, building their nutrient stores, and really establishing a strong root source.

What does that mean?!

Keeping with the baby analogy, I want you to picture the vine as a person. Their trunk is their torso, and their arms being the branches (that *technically* isn’t the name of them, but for the sake of this post, that’s what we’ll call them).

So all it means, is those little vines needs to be focused on keeping their attention in their torsos, instead of having to expand that energy into using their arms, too.
This is done with lots of pruning in winter months and a looooot of weeding and pest control to make sure they’re not sharing the space with any of those.

BUDDING & FLOWERING: A “bud break,” is when we’re starting to see them mature… The past three years have allowed them the strength to start using their arms, gathered the strength from their roots and trunks. This is also when you start to see the vineyard become more colourful, and seemingly more abundant.
This will usually happen around the March/ April time. That’s if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, of course. For those in the Southern Hemisphere, you’re probably looking at the September time frame.

Let’s break it down one more time. Firstly, our vines get placed into the soil. They’ll then go into dormancy for roughly three years. During this time, they’re well looked after, being groomed for their big moment, bud breaking!

If anyone knows – or wants to guess – what comes next, go ahead and comment down below!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this article and learnt something new. Stay tuned for next week, where we’ll be discussing the next steps!

This was proofread by my amazing friend, Torey. Be sure to check out her Facebook page, Mommy Juice and say hi!

1 thought on “The Life of a Grape: Part One”

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I didn’t know it took 3 years! Enjoyed reading this and will check back for part 2

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