Vitaculture Terms


Viticulture Terms
and a few
Enology Terms

by Patrick Williamson

Viticulture – practice of growing grapes
Viticulturist – person who grows grapes
Enology – the study/ practice of making wine
Enologist/Vintner – Person who makes wine (AKA Winemaker)

Viticulture Terms

Patrick Williamson

Patrick Williamson

Crown – the point where the vine comes out just above the ground
Trunk – the main structure of the vine leading up to the cordon
Cordon – using in several different trellis systems is the arm or “branch” that lays on a wire about 3 feet above the ground where the spurs and shoots are located
Spur – the remains of shoots that have been pruned back for new bud positions during the current growing season
Shoot – new plant growth and where the fruit comes from
Clone – is a cutting from a mother plant that happens to have a trait that is desirable to growers or winemakers. For example a clone that is earlier ripening or resistant to powdery mild-dew, or other fungi, or yields smaller berries, or if a clone has a higher tolerance to cold.
Growing degree days – (as defined by WSU) the progression of in-season grapevine development is strongly influenced by air temperature. As such, average heat accumulation is often used to compare regions and vine growing condition. This average heat accumulation is often referred to as Growing Degree Days (GDD also called heat units). The summation of daily GDD units can be used for a variety of things: comparing one region to another, comparing one season to another, and predicting important stages in vine development (bloom, veraison, and maturity). GDD units can be calculated in °F or °C; however, they result in different numbers so make sure that when you are comparing GDD units, you are comparing units with the same temperature scale. Washington State University calculates all GDD in °F, with a base temperature for grapes at 50 °F. Values in °C (with a base of 10°C) can be obtained as follows: GDD[°C]=5/9 x GDD[°F]. Cumulative GDD is a running total of GDD from April 1 through October 31.
Véraison – In viticulture (grape-growing), véraison is the onset of ripening. The term is originally French (véraison), but has been adopted into English use. The official definition of véraison is “change of color of the grape berries”.
Lag-phase – slow growth period where the berry starts getting ready to enter véraison.

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