Growing better pinot noir – Glossary


is a tool for boring a core of earth from the soil.


(pronounced “bricks”) is a measure of the amount of soluble sugars in the juice. As most of the solids are sugars, it gives an index of how sugary the juice is. One degree of brix means there is about 1% sugar in the juice.


Cation Exchange Capacity. This property of the soil is the capacity to hold and exchange nutrients (technically, positively charged ions). CEC gives an indication of the soil’s inherent fertility. Low CEC, for example, suggests limited capacity to hold nutrients and limited availability of nutrients. CEC is measured in milliequivalents.


stalk of the leaf attached to the stem of the plant.


a measure of acidity. Formally, pH is the concentration of hydrogen ions. pH is measured on a logarithmic scale; a value of 7 is neutral, values less than 7 indicate acidity and values more than 7 indicate a base.


an optical instrument for measuring how much light bends in the juice. The degree to which the light bends depends on the amount of soluble solids in the juice; the instrument gives the amount of bend on the Brix scale.

tartaric acid

the primary natural acid in grapes. It is important to the flavour of the wine, to maintaining the colour of the wine, and also to preservation.


a process for finding the concentration of a substance in a solution. In this case the concentration of tartaric acid in the juice is determined. It can be measured in percentage by volume or grams per litre.