Wine Season Guide - French Wine School

Wine Season Guide

A general guide to the wine seasons in France

Whilst there are slight variations between French regions, the following is a general outline for the Northern hemisphere’s annual grape growing cycle.

Pictured: Maison Saint AIX, Provence © AIXRosé


In March, buds begin to break. Shoot growth is removed from the hilled-up earth at the base of the vine.

In May, vines begin to flower and berries set, marking the transition from fertilised flower to grape.

Pictured: Maison Saint AIX, Provence © AIXRosé


In July, growers pull the leaves off the vines, this is called green harvest.

In August, the vines stop growing and focus on the ripening of fruit. Berries begin to change colour and soften as sugar levels increase and acidity decreases. This is known as Veraison.


Depending on their location, grape clusters ripen and reach maturity throughout September and October. Upon ripening, vineyards are harvested, usually occurring around October but sometimes as late as December. At the end of harvest, the lower trunk of the vines is covered up with earth in order to protect the plant against winter freeze.

By November, leaves begin to fall and growers prepare for winter pruning and lowering catch wires.


Between December and March, grapevines are pruned and branches are removed from vineyard rows. They are then mechanically ground or burned and the chips and ash are returned to the vineyard and deposited between rows

Learn more about France's wine regions

Online Courses

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