The Language Of The Vineyard
The Language Of The Winery
The Language Of Wine-Tasting

Botrytis cinerea
Often called noble rot; in France, pourriture noble, and in Germany, Edelfaule. Fungus which dehydrates grapes, not only concentrating sugars and acids, but imparting its own characteristic flavour to sweet wines.

Black rot
Fungal disease of both grape and vine due to humid weather conditions.

Bordeaux mixture
Copper sulphate and lime compound used against vine disease.

Canopy management
Modern vine-training methods devised to maximize the quality of the grape.

Yellowing of the vine leaves through mineral deficiency.

A selection within a variety of vine taken from one plant exhibiting desirable characteristics.

The shedding of flowers or berries, caused by over-vigorous growth, disease or rainstorms at flowering.

Vine whose parents are two or more varieties within the same species.

The budding of the vines after leaf formation.

Downy mildew
Peronospera, a fungal disease. Treated with Bordeaux mixture.

Drip irrigation
New-World method (sometimes computerized) of watering.

A method of training vines. Vertical shoots lead off a central trunk of two horizontal stems.

A fungal infection which withers the vine. Threatens to destroy the world's vineyards as phylloxera did in the late nineteenth century.

Flowering of the vine.

Geneva Double Curtain
Method involving training vines along high trellises to maximize sunshine.

Training and pruning of the vine into a bush-like form.

The near-universal process of attaching young vines to (phylloxera-resistant) rootstock.

Grey rot or pourriture gris
Unwanted botrytis infection.

(Single or Double) Common vine-training systems; growth is concentrated into one or two stems.

Metric measure equivalent to 10,000 square metres or 2.47 acres.

The taste of wines made from unripe grapes.

A cross between a vinifera and a labrusca vine.

Process of stripping surplus leaves away to allow more sunlight in to ripen the fruit.

The precise climate of a vineyard or set of vineyards which will influence the way grapes grow there. Some vineyards, for example, are protected from storms by "rain shadows" created by nearby hills.

Uneven development of grapes within a bunch as a result of cold or wet weather at flowering. Can reduce the size of the crop per vine and thus - sometimes - lead to wine with more concentrated flavours.

Oidium (Powdery mildew) - A fungal disease controlled by sulphur spraying.

Phylloxera vastatrix
Parasitic louse that attacks the roots of the vitis vinifera grapevine. It devastated the world's vineyards in the late nineteenth century, since when most vines are grafted onto phylloxera-resistant labrusca rootstock. Unfortunately, in California, one of the rootstocks used has proved vulnerable to the louse and, in the late 1980s and 1990s, large proportions of the vineyards in the Napa Valley have had to be replanted.

The selective trimming of a vine to control its shape and the quantity and quality of its produce.

The rooted part of the vine on to which the scion is grafted.

The grafting of one type of vine on to another. A less than ideal means of switching from a commercially unpopular variety to a more saleable one without having to wait the three or four years it takes for new plants to yield their first crop.

The way in which a vine is forced to grow to optimize yield, ripening, ease of harvest etc.

Selective harvesting of grapes to pick them at their optimum condition.

Final stage in the ripening of the grapes.

Vitis labrusca
US vine species far better for eating and drinking as juice than for wine-making. Never used for quality wine-making.

Vitis riparia
Vine species native to the US and Canada. The wine it produces smells weirdly "foxy". Important for its phylloxera-resistant rootstock and thus used around the world.

Vitis vinifera
The botanical name of the wine-making vine; European varieties are nearly always members of this species.

The "bloom" on grapes is an accumulation of wild yeasts which, left to their own devices, will naturally but unpredictably begin fermentation. New-World wine-makers generally prefer to use cultured yeasts, though some are rediscovering the benefits of allowing natural yeasts to do the job.

Wine regions of the world.

History of wine
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Wine and Food
Making of Wine
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Wine Terminology
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