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The Annual Life Cycle of the Vine

The annual life cycle of the Vine is divided into the following phases:

A. Activation

In this first phase, the hoarding compounds such as hydrocarbons are activated and the plant prepares for the budding of the secondary buds. At this stage we see weeping, i.e. sap dripping from where the canes were pruned, due to the increased pressure from water absorption in the roots. This happens when the ground temperature is 10-12° C. This phase ends with bud break.

C. Hoarding

Once the shoots stop growing, the plant enters the hoarding phase, which is complete when the leaves fall.

B. Growing

When the buds are 50% open, the bud growing phase begins. The shoots appear and grow quickly, bearing the vine organs such as leaves, tendrils, flowering clusters and flower buds. Five to eight weeks later, bloom starts when the flower caps drop off. Then the inflorescences appear, followed by fertilisation, fruit setting, and grape development and ripening (green grape, ripening, rotting).

D. Winter dormancy

In late November, due to the unfavourable climate conditions, the vine (the “premno” or “kourmoula” in the Cretan dialect) becomes dormant for the winter until March, when the activation of its hoarding compounds usually begins again.

Source: Winemakers’ Network of Heraklion Prefecture