A journey through time: the lifecycle of the vine

The vine is a plant of the Vitis genus and is a climber. Cultivated by human hand, there are a great many species, among them Vitis vinifera, which provides all the grapes used in Europe, including Bourgogne. Without human intervention, it would continue to grow in an uncontrolled manner. Pruning and trimming forces the plant to focus on producing fruit rather than spreading.

Vines mainly grow in hot or temperate regions.

Annual cycle of thje vines in Bourgogne © BIVB / JOLY M.


The grapevine is a perennial plant, or one with an annual cycle. It comes back to life at the end of the winter months. When the land heats up and the sun is more present, the sap rises and forms droplets on the tips of the pruned branches. Some say when this happens that the vine is “weeping”. This is the sign of a new vintage coming into being. The cycle ends in the fall, after the harvest. When the leaves drop, the vine falls dormant once again, preparing to burst back into life in the spring.

For a grapevine, the year can be divided into 10 key stages (according to Baggiolini). Take a look at these stages in pictures.


Annual cycle of grapevine growth

Annual cycle of

grapevine growth