May 2015 Issue of Wines & Vines

Predicting harvest date using berry sugar accumulation

by Alain Deloire, Department of Viticulture & Oenology, Stellenbosch University, South Africa (present address: NWGIC, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, Australia)
Sugar loading can be defined as the accumulation of the quantity of sugar per berry, expressed as milligrams (mg) per berry, from véraison onward. Véraison corresponds with the onset of fruit maturation.
In the grapevine, fruit maturation starts with an abrupt softening of the berry (within 24 hours). This softening goes hand in hand with sugars being actively intro…

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