Lifecycle from Grape to Glass – Bud Break has Begun
This year’s calendar marks March 20th as the first day of spring, but at our Estate Winery and Resort in Bryan, TX spring has already started. The first bud break has begun, and the vines are waking up to enjoy the sunshine! The “bud” refers to everything that will become the new growth of the plant, and bud break defines the beginning of the Lenoir grape’s annual growth cycle in our vineyard.
As temperatures warm up, energy from carbohydrates stored during dormancy cause buds to swell and eventually burst or break. This delicate, early part of the grape cycle won’t last long, continuing only through March. Within a few weeks, the leaves multiply and flourish outward in shoots, sometimes growing as much as an inch per day! Beginning around April, the next stage of the vine’s life will begin, which is called flowering. Here is a breakdown of the lifecycle from grape to glass.
Bud break: The first sign of life after a dormant winter.
Vine flowering: Small shoots that will eventually turn into grapes, burst forward with small white flowers. This will begin a fruit set that takes the form of a green grape berry around the seed to protect it.
Veraison: The fruit set then begins to ripen and darken as the sun develops sugars and deeper colors on the grape.
Harvest: When the grape is fully ripe, it is picked off the vine and crushed to release the juice.
Fermentation: Once the juice is collected, yeast begins to eat the sugar inside, converting it to alcohol. Wine is created!
Barreling: To add more complexity and to soften the structure, juice is poured into barrels. The wine ages for a period determined by the winemaker. Wine can age anywhere from months to years. It just gets better with time.
Bottling: Once the wine has aged, it is then bottled, labeled, and displayed on the shelf. Time to pop the cork and enjoy with family and friends!