Story: Viticulture

Annual cycle of grapevine growth

Grapevines are long-lived deciduous plants. Each year they experience a period when new leaves, shoots, flowers and fruit are produced, and a dormant period when they lose their leaves and stop growing. The grape grower’s year starts in late autumn (May) after grapes have been harvested, when leaves turn yellow or red and fall from the vine. In winter (June–late August), the bare vines are pruned. Most of the previous year’s growth is cut away, leaving a few short shoots with buds. In spring (September–November) the buds swell and burst into leafy growth. Clusters of flowers appear on the new shoots and develop into bunches of grapes in summer (December–February). The grapes ripen through summer and are ready for harvest in autumn (March–May).

Using this item

Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Maggy Wassilieff, 'Viticulture - Grape growing in New Zealand', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 8 June 2023)

Story by Maggy Wassilieff, published 24 Nov 2008