By Ron Burke, Tasting Room Manager
Flowering - Depending on temperatures, 40–80 days after bud break the process of flowering begins. It is during this stage of flowering that the pollination and fertilization of the grapevine takes place with the resulting product being a grape berry, containing 1-4 seeds. Vitis vinifera grape vines are hermaphroditic, with both male stamens and female ovaries. During the process of fertilization, the pollen fertilizes the ovary which produces seeds as the flower begins the transformation into a grape berry, encapsulating the seed. Detrimental weather (cold, wind & rain) can severely affect the flowering process, causing many flowers not to be fertilized and produce a group. It is during this time when the buds that will become next years crops begin to form.
Fruit Set - The stage of fruit set follows flowering almost immediately, when the fertilized flower begins to develop a seed and grape berry to protect the seed. This stage is very critical for wine production since it determines the potential crop yield. Not every flower on the vine gets fertilized. Climate and the health of the vine play an important role with low humidity, high temperatures and water stress having the potential of severely reducing the amount flowers that get fertilized.