Term for the best possible maturity of the grapes in the annual growth cycle of vine, Ideally, at this point in time or grape condition vintage be performed. The term maturation (French maturité) describes the state of maturity from the point of view of the sugar formed or Most weight (Sugar ripeness) in connection with the acidity, whereby a distinction is made between early, full and overripe. In some cases, this is also referred to as technical / technological maturity . The grapes have reached a maximum of stored sugar. The concept of physiological maturity did not emerge in the United States until the 1990s and subsequently became increasingly popular in Europe. The physiology as a branch of biology is the teaching of the physical and biochemical processes in the cells, tissues and organs of all living things.
Physiological maturity includes more criteria than just that Mostgewicht (Sugar) the PH value and the content of acids, as was usually the case in Europe. Strictly speaking (especially in Austria and Germany) the overvalued must weight is only a measure of alcoholic ripeness . In contrast, physiological ripeness is also about aromatic ripeness and (with red wine grapes) phenolic ripeness . The condition or color of the berry skin, elasticity of the pulp, ripeness of the grape seeds and berry flavor are taken into account. The ideal time is when as many of these criteria as possible have reached the optimal state, which is then reflected in the total extract of a wine. Physiological maturity is therefore an essential part of the so-called “inner quality “Of a wine.
The development of flavorings The berries continue to run for a long time after the must weight has already come to a standstill. Especially with red wine grapes, phenolic immaturity delivers increased amounts aggressively astringenttannins, Therefore, two wines with identical must weight can very well present themselves as "ripe" and "immature". There are some simple tests to check physiological maturity. These include visual inspection (yellowish berry skins of white wine grapes indicate ripeness; green berries indicate immaturity), smelling and chewing (unripe berries have a very typical smell / taste), crushing berries (brown, woody kernels that can be easily separated from the pulp , are signs of ripeness; if only a little juice can be squeezed out of the pulp with the seeds still adhering, the grapes are immature) and the stem structure (brown, woody stem structure of red wine grapes indicates good phenolic ripeness). See also under Engustment and Maturity date,
Ripening of the wine berry: © DWI (German Wine Institute)