Bleeding occurs when the soil begins to warm and osmotic forces pushes water up from the root system of the vine and it is expelled from the cuts left over from pruning the vine. During this period a single vine can “bleed” up to 5 litres of water.
20 to 30 days after bleeding, depending on the weather, soil and variety, tinu buds on the vine will break.
Early for the Chardonnay, in between for the Pinot Noir, and late for the Merlot.
After bud break small flower clusters appear on the tips of the young shoots looking like buttons, which transform in flowers.
Flowers appear about 8 weeks after bud break. During this period, between 10 to 20 days, the shoots are very
vulnerable to frost damage. For this reason we prefer late budding varieties on the slopes that are at risk.
Every fertilized flower develops a seed and grape berry to protect the seed. The amount of fertilized flowers depends a lot on the vine variety.
During 6 weeks the grains grow in volume, yet without any chemical transformation. They have very little sugar and are high in organic acids.
This stage signals the beginning of the ripening process.
During this stage of about 7 weeks the color changing is due to the chlorofyll in the berry skin being replaced by anthocyanins (red wine grapes) and carotenoids (white wine grapes). In a process known as engustment the berries start to soften as they build up sugars. Within six days of the start of veraison, the berries begin to grow dramatically as they accumulate glucose and fructose and acids begin to fall.