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growth cycle

Vegetation time (also known as the vegetative phase or vegetation period) is the rhythmically repeating part of the year in which a plant actively grows and unfolds. The doctrine of the related biological processes is called phenology designated. in the viniculture Vegetation time is the period of the last one frost (Late frost) in spring until the first frost (early frost) in autumn. This should be at least 180 days. The remainder of the year, when a perennial plant does not grow, is referred to as the dormancy, resting or rest period. The totality of the annually recurring growth phases of a plant including resting phase is the vegetation cycle. In viticulture, however, is often the vegetation cycle of the vine understood as a period without a rest period.

Phases of the cycle

The months or periods given in the table below for each cycle of the grapevine are average figures, the fluctuation range can be relatively large. Possible influencing factors are environmental conditions such as climate (Microclimate), Weather, such as soil quality and environmental conditions like Vine enemies, The period or the pace of development is also strong of the vine dependent. Very early ripening varieties go through the cycle from sprouting to maturation (Maturity) very fast in about 130 days and are therefore suitable for cooler wine growing areas. Late ripening varieties such as Riesling and Green Valtellina need more light and heat, they have a long growth cycle up to 200 days (see below Maturity date ). Last but not least, the work of the winegrower in the vineyard.

Vegetation cycle - Vineyards at the time of flowering - Napa Valley in California

The annual cycle of grapevine starts after the pruning in the winter with the expulsion the bud in the spring and ends with the leaf fall in late autumn. In the organs of the vine In doing so, a multitude of complex, biochemical processes takes place. The vintage should be the optimal stage of maturity grapes occur. This ideal condition is also called physiological maturity designated. The period from flowering to harvest will be around 100 days This depends heavily on the grape variety and other factors.


Time / date

northern hemisphere

southern hemisphere

expulsion - March April September October
blossom 8 days May June November December
fruit set - June July December - January
veraison (Maturity onset) - August February
maturation (Ripening)
physiological maturity
- August - October February - April
Engustment End of Maturation - -
leaf fall - November December May June
Hibernation 3 months December - February June August

Vegetation cycle - hibernation before pruning

An ideal vegetation cycle in Germany and Austria ( growing zone A and B) are as follows: After earliest possible flowering, the grapes should be exposed to moderate warmth and sufficient moisture from the start of the fruiting. A hillside with at best vertical exposition (Sun exposure) and the proximity of waters (Seas, lakes, rivers) are very positive. From the Véraison is sunny, warm but not too hot weather advantageous. A long, warm but not too dry autumn promotes the day sugar storage, as well as cool nights acidification, It should not rain before and during the harvest.

Cycle in pictures

A very vivid video (click to view) on the annual vegetation cycle of the grapevine with all stages is on YouTube using the example of Moselpfahlerziehung ( Single pile education to see). The nine pictures show the whole process from winter to autumn (1 to 7: © Weinhof / Gästehaus Edgar Hermes ).

1. hibernation, 2. bud swelling, 3. budding
4. Geschein, 5. shortly before flowering, 6. flowering
7. Fruchtansatz, 8. Véraison, 9th Maturation

Additional information

The individual phases of the vegetation cycle are described in detail in separate keywords (see table above). Regarding the optimal or recommended use time of Fertilizers and Phytosanitary Measures became the so-called BBCH Code developed. The BBCH scale corresponds to the vegetation cycle of a plant. The climatic changes that have been noticeable worldwide since the 1980s will also have a major impact on the vegetation cycle and viticulture. These are under the keyword climate Change explained.

The criteria for the suitability of a region for viticulture are considered as Weinbauwürdigkeit designated. A list of relevant keywords about grape variety is under grapevine, a complete list of all works and procedures in the vineyard within the vegetation cycle Weingarten Care and a list of the different practices related to organic farming Organic viticulture contain.

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