QUESTION: I’ve been told that it takes about three years for a vine to produce grapes that are good enough to be used for wine. Is this true, and if so, why does it take so long?
ANSWER: It’s true. When a grapevine is first planted, its first job is to develop a deep and healthy root system, and a solid stalk. Virtually all of its energy goes toward those pursuits, which means there’s little energy left over for producing fruit.
Once the roots are established and the stalk is strong, the plant’s energy is redirected to the fruit.
Vines can produce wine-worthy grapes within three years, but there typically is a considerable jump in quality each year in years four, five and six.