The 7 stages of a vineyard: the vegetative cycle of the vine

The vine is an organism that presents great biological activity throughout the year and very different depending on the season in which we find ourselves.

Each year of its life, a vine goes through different phases, which occur in a constant order and which together form the vegetative cycle of the vine. In the Northern or northern hemisphere, the shoots begin to grow at the beginning of spring (March or April), finishing the vegetative cycle in autumn (October or November), while in the Southern or southern hemisphere the seasons are reversed, with a lag of six months, the vine sprouting (September or October) and finishing the vegetative cycle in spring (April or May).

Below we summarize the different stages of this vegetative cycle:

1. CRY

It is the first activity of the plant after winter rest. When the temperature of the roots and soil exceeds 10ºC, weeping appears and flows through the wounds and pruning cuts. This moment shows the beginning of the plant's activity, cellular respiration begins, the recovery of the absorption of water and mineral elements. The water and dissolved mineral matter flows upward through the woody parts of the plant, appearing like tears through the wounds and cuts from previous pruning.


The activity of the root, which begins first, manifests itself successively throughout the plant: it mobilizes the processed sap accumulated in it, first in the buds, and then reaches the entire node and internodes. The yolk swells until the scales that cover them separate, appearing fluff, and then the green organs, forming the “butterfly”.


From the shoot, the vine develops vegetative organs and creates other new organs: roots, buds, grandchildren and clusters, etc. Growth occurs in length and thickness. Temperature and sunshine have a major influence on the speed of this phenomenon.

Highlight the existence of latent buds, because the buds have the potential to develop, but remain at rest due to an inhibitory hormone. So much so that the clusters of flowers (inflorescences) in the dormant buds have their initiation and development in the cycle preceding their budding. The formation of inflorescences or leaf initiation takes place in the dormant buds of the previous year towards the months of June to July.


The development and maturation of grapes, that is, the formation and growth of berries, has its origin and is a consequence of the action and triple hormonal stimulus of pollination, fertilization and seed formation, as well as the contribution of substances nutritious by the plant.

In certain privileged climates, where there are usually no weather incidents, the bunch can remain on the vines so that it reaches a higher sugar level. It is the so-called overripeness, which is physical rather than physiological, because its components are concentrated and the berry loses weight, due to the evaporated water.


The stoppage of growth in summer, which normally happens at the time of veraison, is not always permanent, since the rains at the end of summer can activate growth again. Well into the summer and at its end, the shoots appear, small leaves at the tips of the grandchildren, a growth caused by a small activity in the cell multiplication of the plant. After the cessation of growth, the anatomical structure of the shoot changes, acquiring a caramel yellow color.


When the temperature begins to decrease noticeably to the vicinity of zero, below which we know that the plant's activity ceases, its leaves fall; But first, the nutritional materials descend through the woody parts and become reserves mainly in the arms, trunk and roots of the vine. The leaves turn yellow or red, dry out and eventually fall. The vine has entered its winter rest phase. Early winters with frosts can cause early leaf fall, partial or total, harming the accumulation of reserves for subsequent flowering.


After the leaves fall, the vine shows no apparent vegetative activity, this phase being called dormancy or vegetative or winter rest. The dormancy of the buds carried by a shoot sprouted the previous year also occurs.



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