How Long Does It Take for Grapes to Ripen?

Grapes are such delicious and nutritious fruits that can be eaten on its own or part of your favorite juices, wines, and desserts! While very tasty, it does take a while for them to grow, taking up to 3 years until it produces viable grapes. That timeline may change, depending on various environmental factors and how you care for your grapes.

This has you wonder: How long does it take for grapes to ripen? Read on to find out!

how long does it take for grapes to ripen

How Long Does It Take for Grapes to Ripen?

Unsurprisingly, the ripening process of grapes is quite long. One thing you need to take note of is that the grapes don’t ripen all at the same time.

Rather, they would go through stages of development. They would first form small green grapes, then turning grey or black. Once they have reached the last stage of development, your grapes are ready to be picked and processed. This is the time where you can make your grapes into wine!

On average, most grape varieties would ripen 10-20 days after picking them, though this depends on how dry the grapes were after picking them. Here are a few popular grape varieties and how long they take to ripen:

  • Concord grapes take 1-3 weeks after harvesting to ripen
  • Thompson seedless grapes take 2-3 weeks after harvesting to ripen
  • Blue seedless grapes take 2-4 weeks after harvesting to ripen

Grapes can ripen even when they are on the vine and preparing to be harvested. Grapes that ripen on the vine will feel soft and have a slightly musty smell, which is normal.

You can also base the time a grape ripens on the climate and season you are currently in. For instance, those in Mediterranean climates would have cooler springs, so the grapes may not ripen until the mid to late summer season, sometimes ripening in fall. Grapes will need the sun to ripen well, so it can take even longer for them to ripen when living in an area with overcast days.

Two varieties of grapes, red and green
Two varieties of grapes, red and green in a colander.

How to Tell When Grapes Are Ripe

How will you know when a grape is ripe, though? There are various ways to tell, as well as various factors that affect its ripeness, such as

  • Look at it and the color will determine its readiness. Green grapes should be light green, red ones should be red, while black ones should have green specks on them. Some grapes may be yellowish but look beyond the color here, as seeds are darker than the grapes.
  • Besides the color, look into the grape’s details, as the colors change throughout the growing season, depending on the weather. Some grapes might turn light yellow from green, while others remain green. This is because sunshine would cause grapes to develop quicker, while lack thereof slows down the progress, even killing the grapes.
  • Another factor to consider is the temperature of the day, which ripens on shelves in rooms with average temperature. If it is too hot in a room without air conditioning, the grapes don’t develop correctly, becoming TOO ripe
  • Consider the moisture as well. If there is too much moisture on the leaves, the grapes stop growing, so it takes even longer for it to ripen.
  • Grapes may become sweeter if you pick them too early and heat them when making wine. For grapes that aren’t fully ripe, they will taste more tart, which would also be based on where they have grown and the dryness of the weather.
  • If you would like to speed up the ripening process, place the grapes in a paper bag and leave them in a place at room temperature. The grapes will be ready in about 10 days, softening after day 2 or 3. This method is best used for grapes that are close to becoming ripe, though.
  • If you want to stop your grapes from turning soon, then place them in a room at room temperature, around 40-59 degrees F. When they are ripe, you can store them in the fridge so they won’t spoil too soon. Don’t store them with apples or pears, instead of freezing them in plastic bags in portions to keep their flavor for up to 3 months.

Wrapping It Up

The growing process of grapes is a long yet rewarding one, and as long as you know how and when to harvest your crop, you can enjoy delicious grapes! Continue caring for your grapes as well to ensure that it grows successfully and to get as much healthy produce as possible.

I hope you learned a lot about grapes and how they ripen! Take this information to heart and allow your produce to grow and ripen before consuming them to truly enjoy their flavors. Good luck and happy gardening!

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