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Ripeness in viticulture
The term ripeness in viticulture can mean different things to different viticulturists and winemakers. At its broadest definition it refers to the completion of the ripening process of wine grapes on the vine which signals the beginning of harvest. But what exactly constitute ripeness will vary depending on what style of wine is being produced (sparkling, still, fortified, rosé, dessert wine, etc.) and what the winemaker and viticulturist personally believe constitutes ripeness. Once the grapes are harvested, the physical and chemical components of the grape which will influence a wine's quality are essentially set so determining the optimal moment of ripeness may be considered the most crucial decision in winemaking.
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