Grape Terms

Amber – A golden-yellow color of some green grape varieties that have been left to ripen longer on the vine.

Antioxidant – An antioxidant neutralizes harmful free radicals to help prevent the process of oxidation that damages cells.  When free radicals are left to their own devices, a condition called "oxidative stress" occurs.  Oxidative stress is now associated with numerous health conditions and chronic illnesses.    

Bloom A white naturally occurring coating, made mostly of waxy compounds, is common to many soft fruits including grapes.  The bloom protects the grape berries from moisture loss and decay.  Bloom is sometimes mistakenly thought of as dust.

Brix Brix is a measure of soluble solids content in grapes, mostly sugars.  Brix is measured with a refractometer and expressed in degrees.  Each degree of Brix equals 1 gram of sugar per 100 grams of grape juice.

Phytonutrients – plant nutrients, or components, that give a plant its color, taste,  smell, and are part of the plant’s self-defense system, protecting it from prests, viruses, bacteria and excessive sunlight.

Polyphenols – a “family” of plant compounds (phytonutrients) found in grapes that appear to protect the health and function of cells and help promote antioxidant activity. 

Seeded – Grapes that contain naturally occurring seeds.

Seedless – Grapes that do not have seeds.

Seed Trace – Soft, under-developed portions of a seed in some seedless grapes.  Development is related to the weather during early phases of the growing season.

Shatter – Detachment of berries from the cluster is called shatter.  Shatter increases with rough or excessive handling and can be reduced by gentle handling and maintaining recommended temperatures and relative humidity.

Titratable Acidity (TA) – Grapes contain significant amounts of organic acids, which are determined by titration.  The major organic acid in grapes – tartaric acid – accounts for over 90% of the total acid constituents of the juice.  The titratable acidity is expressed as grams of tartaric acid per 100 ml.