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will grapes ripen off the vine?

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  • will grapes ripen off the vine?

    The grapes this year are lots on a fewer bunches. It's alot of work putting the netting on, so I'm considering taking my chances with the birds because they haven't bothered with the grapes yet this year. There's lots of leaf cover (we've had so much rain this year that the grapes have had to be pruned 4 times). The grapes are starting to purple up. If the birds come around, can I pick the grapes and let them ripen inside? At what stage?

  • #2
    I don't think they do ripen off the vine. When I was picking wine grapes we had to wait till the sugar content was right, although sometimes rain would hit them late and they would burst.
    I think if you picked them early they would be bitter, and not sure how the sugars would increase without the plant.


    • #3
      They're not quite edible yet, and some on each bunch are going to ripen quicker. Stone fruit ripens after it has been picked (including some increase in sugar content), but it's much nicer the longer it's left on the tree.


      • #4
        Sugars and starches are created via sunlight/photosynthesis. If you remove the growth in the sunlight, you will stop the creation of sugars and starches.

        I don't think any fruit gets sweeter or more ripe once it's picked, it just softens as a precursor to rot. Pears may be the exception, but I'm not sure how that would work.



        • #5
          Bananas are the obvious one, but I'm not sure how much that happens naturally (commercial bananas are sprayed to ripen them I think). Stonefruit picked too early won't get sweeter (which is why supermarket stonefruit doesn't taste very good), but if it's already ripe or nearly ripe it will.

          I don't know the mechanism, but I'm guessing it's the conversion of starches already existing at picking, into sugars (pretty sure that's what happens with bananas).