Story: Viticulture

Annual cycle of grapevine growth

Grapevines are long-lived deciduous plants. Each year they experience a period when new leaves, shoots, flowers and fruit are produced, and a dormant period when they lose their leaves and stop growing. The grape grower’s year starts in late autumn (May) after grapes have been harvested, when leaves turn yellow or red and fall from the vine. In winter (June–late August), the bare vines are pruned. Most of the previous year’s growth is cut away, leaving a few short shoots with buds. In spring (September–November) the buds swell and burst into leafy growth. Clusters of flowers appear on the new shoots and develop into bunches of grapes in summer (December–February). The grapes ripen through summer and are ready for harvest in autumn (March–May).

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How to cite this page:

Maggy Wassilieff, 'Viticulture - Grape growing in New Zealand', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/interactive/18293/annual-cycle-of-grapevine-growth (accessed 25 January 2020)

Story by Maggy Wassilieff, published 24 Nov 2008