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growth cycle

The vegetation period (also the vegetation phase or vegetation period) is the rhythmically repeating part of the year in which a plant actively grows and develops. The teaching of the related biological processes is called phenology designated. in the viniculture vegetation time is the period from the last frost (Late frost) in spring until the first frost (early frost) in autumn. This should be at least 180 days. The remaining part of the year, in which a plant of several years does not grow, is called vegetation rest, rest period or rest period. The entirety of the annual recurring growth phases of a plant, including the resting phase, is the vegetation cycle. In viticulture, however, the vegetation cycle of the vine understood as a period without a rest period.

Phases of the cycle

The months or time periods for the individual cycles 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 pace of development is also very different from that vine dependent. Very early ripening varieties go through the cycle from budding to maturation (Maturity) very quickly in around 130 days and are therefore suitable for cooler wine-growing regions. Late ripening varieties such as Riesling and Green Valtellina need more light and warmth, they have a long growth cycle up to 200 days (see under Maturity date ). Last but not least, the work of the winegrower in the vineyard.

Vegetation Cycle - Blooming Vineyards - Napa Valley, California

The annual cycle of the grapevine starts after pruning in winter with the expulsion the bud in spring and ends with the leaf fall in late autumn. In the organs of the vine a large number of complex, biochemical processes take place. The vintage should reach the optimal stage of maturity grapes occur. This ideal state is also called physiological maturity designated. The period from flowering to harvest is around 100 days numbered, depending very much 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 Graduation - -
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) proceeds as follows: After flowering as early as possible, the grapes should be exposed to moderate heat and sufficient moisture from the beginning of the fruit. A hillside with at best vertical exposition (Sun exposure) and the proximity of waters (Seas, lakes, rivers) have a very positive effect. From the Véraison it is sunny, warm but not too hot weather advantageous. A long, warm but not too dry autumn encourages the day sugar storage, as well as cool nights acidification, It shouldn't rain before and during the harvest.

Cycle in pictures

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

1. hibernation, 2. bud swelling, 3. shoots
4th appearance, 5th shortly before flowering, 6th flowering
7. Fruit set, 8. Véraison, 9. Maturation

Additional information

The individual phases of the vegetation cycle are described in detail in their own keywords (see table above). Regarding the optimal or recommended time of use 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 felt worldwide since the 1980s will also have a very strong 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 called Weinbauwürdigkeit designated. A list of relevant keywords on the subject of grape varieties can be found at grapevine, a complete listing of all work and processes in the vineyard within the vegetation cycle below Weingarten Care and a list of the different practices related to organic farming Organic viticulture contain.

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