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Physiological Ripeness in the Grapes

Updated: Sep 21, 2023

wine grape seeds

💡 When it comes to the perfect harvest time, sugar & acidity are not the only criteria - PHYSIOLOGICAL RIPENESS of the grapes is at least as important.

How can physiological ripeness be recognised? Here it depends on the know-how of the winemaker! It cannot be analysed with a refractometer like sugar. What is meant is a combination of different criteria:

🍇 The skin of the grapes is completely coloured and slowly getting thinner.

🍇 The elasticity of the berry.

🍇 When crushed, the flesh is soft and the seeds come off easily.

🍇 If you taste the grapes, the flavours are pleasant, no longer green and herbaceous.

🍇 The seeds are brownish woody, if you chew them, the tannin no longer tastes unripe and green (this is also called phenolic ripeness).

🍇 The stems are also already woody, which can be a criterion especially for red wine.

Most winemakers follow their many years of experience when assessing these ripeness criteria and thus find the perfect harvest time for the style of wine they want to produce!

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