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maturité (F)
madurez (ES)
maturidade (PO)
maturità (I)
ripeness (GB)

Quality decision point in the annual growth cycle the grapevine to which the vintage he follows. It is the end of the maturity period between veraison (Start of ripening, where the berries begin to turn) and grape ripeness. The period between blossom and Maturation is next climate and Weather also from Maturity date (early to late) the vine dependent. The pre-Véraison green berries have a relatively high content acids which are degraded during maturation while the content of sugar increases.

Grapes - at the beginning of Véraison (color change)

The commonly used term of sugar maturity describes the condition of the sugar grape from the viewpoint of formed sugar. The sugar content is usually by means of refractometer determined and by the Mostgewicht expressed in different quantities. This is sometimes referred to as technical / technological maturity . However, a distinction is made between precocious maturity, full maturity and overripe. Which of the three maturity states is optimal or "the right one" results from the desired type of wine, or are also other important maturity considerations of importance. These are the composition of the acid and as a new term the physiological maturity,

ripe grapes in blue, white and red

Early maturity (frz. Pré maturité)

As the name suggests, the harvest takes place relatively early. Although much sugar has already been formed in the berries at this time, it is still relatively far away from a physiological ripeness. In warm growing areas, especially white wines are deliberately read in a precocious state in order to maintain the acidity that is often lacking in such climatic conditions and to achieve fresh aromas. But such wines can not reach full flavor.

Fully ripe (French pleine maturité)

In most wine regions in the northern hemisphere, this is achieved (depending on grape variety and type of wine) from September to October, in warm climates in some cases in August. What is understood as being fully mature, however, is slightly different in the individual countries. In cooler areas one orients itself mainly on the sugar content or the must weight. The state of full ripeness is reached at a harmonic ratio of acidity and sugar content. One speaks also of a balanced sugar balance. At night no more sugar is breathed carbon dioxide and water ), as is formed in the day.

Exceeding full maturity, the sugar balance is increasingly negative. This means that more sugar is mined during the night than is supplied during the day. By shrinking the berries and thus reducing the volume but this is compensated. The berries develop more extract or flavorings such as glycerin and phenols, which leads to bodied and alcoholier wines. The must yield is lower but more concentrated. A relatively new term is Engustment, the special phase of berry maturity, in which variety-specific flavorings and color intensity mint.

Overripe (frz. Sur maturité)

In certain growing areas at least part of the fully ripe grapes will remain on the vine. As a result, they reach the stage of over-maturity with a clearly negative sugar balance. However, this is compensated by evaporation of water and thus drying of the berries and thus increases the sugar concentration or the must weight. In overripe and very sweet Berries outweighs the sugar species fructose (Fruit sugar). Such berries are a prerequisite for the production of Prädikatswein such as B. Trockenbeerenauslese,

dried wine grapes

In the 1990s is the new term physiological maturity originated, which in addition to sugar and acidity also includes other criteria of maturity. Due to extreme weather conditions it can be initiated by the vine itself premature ripening come (which, however, probably no winemaker wishes). The next development step in the growth cycle is after the Maturation of leaf fall, See also below BBCH Code,

Picture left: by Walliswine - own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 , Link

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