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Glossary of viticulture terms

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Title: Glossary of viticulture terms  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Glossary of wine terms, Glossary of winemaking terms, Precision viticulture, Harvest (wine), Wine
Collection: Glossaries of Botany, Glossaries of Wine, Viticulture
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Glossary of viticulture terms

This glossary of viticultural terms list some of terms and definitions involved in growing grapes for use in winemaking.


The method that grapevines use in the uptake of nutrients by the roots in the soil.
French term for tying vine branches (or cordons) to the horizontal trellising wires in a vine-training system
The method that grapevines use in the transport of certain nutrients through the plant by adhesion of ions or molecules on the surface of colloidal particles or other solid materials.
Chemicals or other materials that are mixed with sprays aid in the penetration, wetting or spreading of the active ingredient in the viticultural spray.
Adventitious roots
Roots that develop in areas of the grapevine where there previously was no root system, such as the roots that develop from the nodes of a newly planted cutting. While grapevines have adventitious roots, they do not have adventitious buds and requiring pre-existing buds for future growth.
Alkali soil
Soils with high levels of sodium that will interfere with the growth and development of the grapevine.
American hybrid
A grape variety that, unlike French-American hybrids, was developed in North America. It is usually a crossing of North American grape varieties but some varieties do have Vitis Vinifera in their parentage.
The science of identify grape varieties and tracing their history using both DNA and physical characteristics such as the appearance of clusters and leaves.
The part of the male-reproductive organs of the grapevine flower, located on the stamen, that contains the pollen needed for fertilization.
A stage during the flowering period of the grape vine when the calyptra has fallen off and the vine is in full bloom.
Polyphenols located in the skin of grapes that includes the color pigments that gives both grapes and wine their color.
French term for the period of ripening when the vine's shoot stop growing and the plant shifts it carbohydrate production into reserves as it prepares for dormancy and next years growth. During this time the leaves may begin to change color as the shoots also change color, usually from a green to a brown wood color.
Apical dominance
The tendency of the central mid-section region of a grapevine shoot up to the apex to exhibit the most growth and development of foliage, tendrils and grape clusters. The apical dominance of the grapevine also inhibits the growth of lateral buds.
Apical meristem
The growth cells located at the tip of a grapevine shoot that have the ability to differentiate and continue to grow. Unlike other plants, grapevines do not have terminal buds that limit growth.
A geographical based term to identify where the grapes for a wine were grown.
A geological landform that retains rain water drained from the surrounding area.
A topographical feature of a vineyard including the angle and direction of a slope as well as its altitude.
Frost protection technique where overhead sprinklers are used to spray the grapevines with water, allowing the water to freeze and coat the young buds with ice at 0°C with the latent heat of freezing protecting them from damage from further temperature drops
The attachment point on a grapevine leaf of petiole where usually a developing bud will be located


Balance pruning
A method of pruning based on the amount of growth that the vine experienced the previous growing season. This is often determined by weighing the one-year-old that is pruned during the winter dormancy period and using a formula to determine how many buds should be left for the next season's crop.
The dead tissue that makes up the hard, woody external covering of the grapevine canopy outside the cork cambium.
Basal bud
The small bud located at the base of a grapevine's cane or spur.
A natural terrace of flat land between two slopes.
Bilateral cordon training
A vine training system that utilizes two arms, or cordons, extending horizontally from the trunk in two different directions along support wires.
Biodynamic wine
Wines produced by the principles of biodynamic agriculture.
Black rot
A fungal disease that causes black stains to appear on grapevine leaves. Most prevalent in warm and wet conditions
The phenomenon of sap being expelled from an open pruning wound on the grapevine that often happens during early spring. This is often a sign of good health for the vine. Also known as weeping.
The powdery, waxy substance that is often found on the surface of grapes. While this substance may contain the spores of wild yeast, it is not necessary composed of yeast cells.
Bordeaux mixture
An organic fungicide composed of copper sulfate and calcium hydroxide (lime) and water that was invented in Bordeaux in the late 19th century as a treatment against powdery and downy mildew
Botrytis cinerea
See Noble rot.
The undeveloped, primordial grape shoot that is usually located along nodes of a cane.
Bud scales
Hairy, scale-like leaves containing suberin that act as a protective cover over buds, often protecting them against the elements during the dormancy period of winter.
Bud sport
The shoot, fruit or flower offspring that arise from bud that has experienced a spontaneous genetic mutation in at least one gene in one of the buds cells. This offspring will be genetically different from the rest of the bud offspring on the plant and maybe the source of new clonal material.
Bush training
Vine training system where the vines are kept as individual, free-standing vines not supported by or joined together by a trellising system. Also known as Goblet training. Common training system in the Rhone Valley and in parts of California with old vine Zinfandel.
French term for adding mounds of earth to the base of a newly grafted vine to cover the graft union between the rootstock and scion to protect from frost damage.


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