A very frequent question of many lay people in viticulture and also of the not so lay people is what makes a grape to be considered a table grape or a wine grape , that is, what are the morphological and organoleptic aspects that decide that a variety of vine have a vocation for winemaking or table. Actually all the varieties of Vitis vinifera could be vinified or consumed fresh, however each one has particular qualities that define it as being of higher quality for one or another destination.

An attractive bunch for table vocation because it is an intermediate-sized bunch, if very loose or very compact, and with an intermediate-sized berry that looks good.

Unattractive bunch for table vocation because it is a very large bunch, with many wings, tight, and with very little uniformity in the color of the berries.Let’s first apply common sense and then let’s give this aspect a technical name using the descriptive codes of the International Office of Vine and Wine (OIV) and the levels of expression that differentiate one vocation from the other.It should be noted that the wine grapes are going to be processed as soon as they arrive at the winery , so their quality is not measured by the physical appearance of the bunch or the berry (as long as this is not a consequence of poor sanitary conditions. ).

The appearance of the bunch is important when it comes to discriminating a variety to be destined for fresh consumption: the size -codes OIV 202 and 203- and the shape of the bunch -code OIV 208- are important, as is the number of wings -code OIV 209-. Aesthetically proportioned bunches are sought : neither too long nor too short, neither too wide nor too narrow, nor with abundant wings. A very compact or very loose bunch -code OIV 204- (from which a grape cannot be detached without damaging the surroundings) is not attractive to the consumer.

However, to determine the vocation of the grape, the characteristics of the berry are even more important . If it is destined for vinification, the large size of the grape is not appreciated positively -codes OIV 220 and 221-, in fact berries with a high skin / pulp ratio are more interesting, since it is in the skin where the coloring substances reside like aromatic ones. Also in winemaking, a high yield of berry must is important . On the other hand, to be destined for fresh consumption, a small grape is not valued positively.

Grape with little table vocation due to its small size, its almost black color, the number and size of the seeds that occupy a large part of the berry.

Grape with a vocation for the table due to its size due to the scarcity of seeds and their small size.The ease of separation of the pedicel from the berry -code OIV 240- is important in table grapes (a difficult detachment is sought that guarantees the permanence of the grain in the bunch during its transport from the plant to the moment of its consumption) ; a firm consistency of the pulp -code OIV 235-; a hardness of the skin between medium and thick -code OIV 228-; a color of the skin -code OIV 225- attractive to the consumer (varieties with very dark skin are not attractive for table consumption), as well as its uniformity -code OIV 226-; small size of the nuggets or if their absence is possible or that they are very rudimentary -code OIV 241-.Taking into account all these considerations, there are some varieties with a clear vocation for wine, others with a clear vocation for the table, Cardinal, and others with both vocations, such as the Muscat of Alexandria.

Dr. Sofia Seccombe

My name is Dr. Sofia Seccombe, and in this small section, I want to tell you who I am and why I started this project. I don't want to bore you, but I consider that it is an important part of godlywine. It serves as an exercise in transparency so that the person who reads the articles can be sure that the information is reliable.

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