What Do Winemakers Mean When They Talk About the ‘Balling’ of Grapes?

What do winemakers mean when they talk about the ‘balling’ of grapes?

The Balling scale is used to measure the amount of dissolved solids in grape juice, and therefore gives an indication of the amount of sugar in the juice. Grapes for table wine are usually picked at about 24 degrees balling, while the grapes used for Méthode Cap Classique sparkling wines are picked earlier, at about 19 degrees balling. Americans use a similar scale, called the Brix scale.

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