Why Anxious Grapevines Yield Amazing Grapes
The transformation of pollinated flowers into luscious grapes depends paradoxically on the stress experienced by the vine. The stress can be due to natural environmental conditions or conditions induced by the viticulturalist. A bountiful harvest of perfect grapes needs a grapevine that is anxious about its own survival.
A grapevine with warm sunlight, rich soil and ample water goes on a spree of vine and leaf growth, taking full advantage of the good conditions while it can.
But if you ensure that the soil is demanding and restrict water to survival levels, the vine goes into its long-game. “With these conditions,” it tells itself, “I, a single grape plant, am probably doomed. My only hope is to produce as many fruit-wrapped seeds as possible to ensure my genetic material survives into better times.”
The grapevine’s response to the unforgiving conditions ensures that ample energy is devoted to fruit set and berry development, not to adding length to vines and more leaves. It’s the viticulturalist’s job to maintain the environment for the vines at just the right level of stress. How well that pays off will be seen in the next few months.
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