Characteristics, care and varieties of the vine

the vine and its characteristics

We have all eaten grapes at some time and we have talked about the plant that produces them, the vine. However, for sure you do not fully know all its details and characteristics.

The vine is a flowering plant, that is, an angiosperm, which belongs to the class of dicots, from the subclass with simpler flowers (choripetalae), but in the group with calyx and corolla (Dyalypetalae), that is, the most advanced. Its scientific name is Vinifera vine. Do you want to know everything about this plant?

Vine morphology

the vine has various symptoms if it lacks nutrients

the vine presents various symptoms if it lacks nutrients

The vine belongs to the order of woody plants, so it usually has a fairly long life. It is relatively easy to find a vine that is more than 100 years old. His youthful period is comprised between 3 and 5 yearsso it is also quite long to be a woody plant and not a tree. During its juvenile stage it cannot produce flowers.

One of the special characteristics of the vine is that it has a root apparatus that develops over the years and helps to explore the terrain with less detail than that of a grass. Because its trunk, branches, branches and epigeal apparatus take a long time to developIf this plant suffers from any damage, it cannot be renewed as easily as if it were a herbaceous plant.

The need to keep it alive during winter or drought times makes woody plants more demanding in terms of climate and fertility, so they do not live too high or too close to the poles or in deserts like grasses can. .

Organs and functions

the grapes when they are immature have a lot of chlorophyll

grapes when they are immature have a lot of chlorophyll

As we know, by means of the roots the plants sustain themselves and incorporate the necessary food to develop and to be able to carry out photosynthesis. The trunk and branches of the vine are the vehicles that transport the necessary moisture and mineral salts to the entire plant. The leaf, in this case, it is the most important organ of the vinesince they are in charge of transforming the raw sap into processed sap and, in addition, they are in charge of carrying out the vital functions of the plant: transpiration, respiration and photosynthesis. Thanks to the leaves, the vine can form molecules of acids and sugars from oxygen and water. These molecules accumulate in the grain of the grape and it is what gives it its characteristic flavor.

Chlorophyll It is responsible for capturing the sun’s rays and enough energy to carry out all the processes that are vital for the plant.

Grape ripening

The vine is slow growing

The vine is slow growing

In the month of March, when the heat begins to be noticed, the sap sets in motion and the so-called “weeping” of the vine is produced, which is expressed through the fruit. At first, the fruit is saturated with chlorophyll and has a very green color. When the grape is green and unripe, it contains a large amount of tartaric, malic and some citrus acids.

For the grape to develop the acids necessary to have a good flavor, the conditions of light, temperature, sun rays, and humidity must be adequate. When the grape changes color, it is called veraison. If it has such a strong green color because it is saturated with chlorophyll, it will turn yellow, if the grape variety is white, and it will turn red, if the variety is red.

As the grape matures, the acids they had are decreasing their concentration and the sugars coming from the frenzied activity exerted by the leaves by the photosynthesis process increase. Another organ of the vine that gives the grape the sweetness is the trunk. Therefore, a vine that is quite old is capable of generating sweeter grapes and in a more constant way.

Entering fully into the fruit, it is necessary to make a first division between what is the “stalk”, or woody part that forms the frame of the bunch and the grape grain. The grain (it could be said that it is the grape itself) is divided into skin, pulp and seeds.

For those who like wine, they should know that the skin (also called skin) is the one that contains a large part of the colorings and aromas that later have in wine. In the pulp there is the main components of the must (basically water and sugars) and that, through fermentation, are transformed into wine. The pips or seeds are found within the pulp and differ according to the varieties, even finding grapes that contain them. They have a very hard layer and provide tannins to the wine.

Vine varieties

Vine varieties

Vine Varieties

Labrusca Vine: Labruscoideae americanae series; for example, the Isabel grape comes from this species.

Rock Vine: Cave series. Originally from semi-dry alluvial lands, it has given rise to many rootstocks.

Banks of the Vine: Ripariae series. Originally from much cooler regions, it has given rise to many rootstocks and wine grapes (direct producing hybrids).

The vine of Berlandieri: Cinerascentes series. Native to arid regions and calcareous soils; it has been transcendental for the constitution of rootstocks resistant to chlorosis and dryness.

Vinifera Vine: it is the common vine.

Climate requirements for good growth

the climate is very demanding on the vine

the climate is very demanding with the vine

As mentioned before, the vine depends very closely on the climatic conditions in which it is found. In the more mountainous areas we can find vineyards only up to a certain height, since they cannot grow higher. It is the climate that imposes the limits of height.

Height and latitude limits are widely exceeded in many regionssince the areas with the highest planting efficiency have been studied and are placed on very well oriented slopes. For the vine to be a guaranteed success, it has to be developed in areas where there are not many winter frosts and they do not affect the sugar content of the plant.

When very low temperatures are reached in winter, the vine can resist down to -20 ° C. If it were exposed to lower temperatures, it would suffer serious damage. If the exposure time is short, slight damage such as necrosis of the medulla and diaphragm would occur. However, if the time of exposure to such low temperatures would be the death of buds on one-year-old shoots.

As means used against frost we have artificial mists and sprinkler irrigation. The second is really effective but very expensive, although the installation is used against ice, as summer irrigation and as a means of controlling parasites.

Background fertilizer

background compost for the vine

background fertilizer for the vine

The bottom fertilizer for the vine aims to enrich the soil to a certain depth. The nutrients with which the fund is fertilized are: phosphorus, potassium and organic matter. Once the bottom has been fertilized to a certain depth, no deep work can be done again.

After composting, large quantities of manure are supplied (if possible up to 50 tonnes of manure per hectare). The recommended dose of phosphorus around 600 kilos per hectare and phosphorus, can be very high, if it is a question of land with a high potassium retention capacity, or very small, if the land is loose: 200-2000 kg per hectare.

How to fertilize the vineyard

nitrogen fertilizer

nitrogenous fertilizer

Normally, when spring arrives is when the nitrogen fertilizers are administered, which are assimilated little by little. Manure should be applied in winter. Summer fertilization with nitrogenous products would prolong the vegetation and enrich the nitrogen content of the bunches, which is not considered desirable.

If the vine does not have an adequate concentration of nutrients, it can present various symptoms due to deficiencies such as:

Lack of nitrogen: When the vine lacks nitrogen, it has a light green color on the leaves and the peduncles turn red. Without sufficient nitrogen, the vine will present fertility problems. It usually appears in spring.

Lack of potassium: The apical leaves turn reddish and yellowish. If potassium is lacking, there is a delay in maturation. This deficiency usually appears in June.

Lack of magnesium: Yellow-reddish shades appear between the nerves. It usually appears after fruit setting and during ripening, especially on the basal leaves. In extreme cases there may be a drying of the rachis and poor maturation in general.

Iron deficiency: Usually appears in spring until June. It can cause the fall of the flowers and the presence of some small grains that reduce fertility.

Boron lack: A yellow or red mosaic appears on the leaves, the granular limb, grooved leaf edge, characteristic deformations and reduction in the dimensions of the leaves. It happens in May.

Vine varieties grown in Spain

grape varieties in Spain

grape varieties in Spain

Airen: It is the majority grape of La Mancha white wines and the one with the highest volume of monovarietal wine worldwide.

Albarino: It is produced mainly on the Atlantic coast of Galicia. Typical of cold and humid areas.

god: It is grown in Valdeorras, Orense province.

Macabeo-Viura: Basic variety of quality Rioja whites, as well as cavas.

muscatel: Basically it is made in mistela. It is grown mainly in the Valencian Community, Cádiz, Málaga and the middle basin of the Ebro.

Palomino: It is the quintessential variety of Jerez. Orense, Leon and Valladolid are other provinces where Palomino is grown.

Paired: It is grown in the highlands of Catalonia. It acts as a complementary grape in the elaboration of cavas.

Peter Jimenez: It grows mainly in the provinces of Córdoba and Málaga.

twist: It is another Galician grape similar to Albariño but less glyceric and refined. It is the traditional Ribeiro grape.

Verdejo: The white grape from Rueda, the Ribera del Duero and other areas of Castilla.

Xarello: It complements very well with other varieties especially in the elaboration of cavas.

With this information you will be able to know more about the vine and how the plant from which we drink these delicious wines works.

Characteristics, care and varieties of the vine

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