Hidden Menu

  • Tuscany Wine Tour (May 2019)
  • Burgundy Wine Tour (June 2019 - FULL)
  • Champagne Wine Tour (June 2019 - FULL)
  • Southwest France Wine Tour (Oct 2016)
  • Rioja Wine Tour (tba)
  • Jura Wine Tour (Oct. 2017)
  • Home
  • French Wine Scholar Guild
  • Italian Wine Scholar Guild
  • Spanish Wine Scholar Guild
  • Trip Evaluation
  • Reservation Form
  • Reservation Form Special
  • My Membership
  • Webinar-Evaluation
  • Private Trips Reservation Form
  • Notify me when Flash Player bug is fixed
  • Our Recent Top Exam Scorers
  • Guest membership
  • Top Exam Scorer
  • 3-Month Guest Membership
  • Latest newsletter
  • Latest News Archive
  • Newsletter Signup
  • Program Providers
  • Application Submission Form
  • Free 6 Month Membership
  • Thank you for your submission
  • Acymailing Modify Subscription
  • Update Newsletter Profile
  • Preferences saved
  • Italian Wine Scholar - Unit 1 - Study Manual
  • IWS test page
  • Study Trips for Sommeliers
  • Master-Level Online Programs for Wine Educators
  • Membership for Wine Educators
  • Master-Level Programs for Wine Enthusiasts
  • Membership for Wine Enthusiasts
  • Loire Valley Pronuncitation Module
  • WSG Membership for Sommeliers
  • Master-Level Online Programs for Sommeliers
  • Wine Study Trips for Sommeliers
  • Wine Study Tours for Wine Educators
  • Self-Enrollment in FWS v5.2
  • Study Tours for Wine Enthusiasts
  • FWS V6 Upgrade
  • chronoform users-edit
  • Private trips
  • Cru Artisan College 2017
  • French Wine Scholar™ online | Independent Study Format
  • French Wine Scholar™ online | 14-week Instructor-Led Format
  • Membership for wine professionals and enthusiasts
  • Private trips
  • French Wine Scholar™ online | 14-week Instructor-Led Format UPGRADE
  • French Wine Scholar™ online | 14-week Instructor-Led Format UPGRADE (from previous versions)
  • Community Dashboard
  • wine study and tasting groups faq
  • Italian Wine Scholar™ Unit 1 online | 14-week Instructor-Led Format
  • Italian Wine Scholar™
  • Italian Wine Scholar™ Unit 2 online | 15-week Instructor-Led Format
  • Rhône Wine Tour (June 2018)
  • Champagne Master-Level - Excerpt 1
  • Champagne Master-Level - Excerpts 2
  • Louis Roederer Scholarship for the Champagne Master-Level Program
  • Laurent Perrier Scholarship for Guild of Sommeliers Members
  • Champagne ML Preview
  • Reservation form for Bourgogne intensive
  • Tuscany (May 2019)
  • Thanks for your submission
  • Search FAQs
  • Wine Tasting
  • Membership Demo
  • Certified Sherry Wine Specialist VIP pre-launch
  • Register Menu


    Sunday, 31 March 2019 11:08

    Common Knowledge: Photosynthesis

    Written by
    Rate this item
    (1 Vote)

    There have been moments in my career as a professional winophile where I’ve realized I haven’t retained a bit of information that perhaps I should have learned in grade school had I been paying attention. Everyone needs a refresher once in a while and this series of blog posts aims to fill in possible gaps of knowledge that your grade-school mind may not have realized you would use in your fabulous wine career.

    Life on earth depends on photosynthesis. There would be no oxygen on earth without it.

    Simply put, plants are able to convert sunlight into the energy or food they need in order to grow. Oxygen is produced and released by the plant as a byproduct of this process.

    The cellular composition of leaves includes structures called chloroplasts, which contain chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is actually a pigment that absorbs light, particularly red and blue. It reflects green light which is why we see most plants as green. The absorbed light gives the plant the energy to split the water molecules that it takes up from the roots into hydrogen and oxygen.

    Leaf cells with green chloroplasts

    Leaves also have microscopic holes called “stomata” that allow the plant to take in carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Inside the plant, carbon dioxide bonds with the hydrogen and the freed oxygen is released into the air.

    Stomata, seen on the surface of a leaf

    The bonded carbon dioxide and hydrogen are metabolized by the plant into a carbohydrate called glucose. The plant uses some of the glucose for growth, but stores some away for later. As the plant grows and matures it uses fruits and vegetables to store this extra glucose, which eventually brings sweetness to fully ripe grapes, peaches and carrots, etc.

    The photosynthesis process is light-dependent but is restricted by temperature. Photosynthesis will not occur under 50°F/10°C or above 95°F/35°C. This is why wines can have green or herbal flavors in extremely hot growing seasons—the grapes have struggled to ripen fully! Other conditions affecting the process include strong winds and lack of moisture.


    Learn More About wine:


    Kirra Barnes

    Wine educator, writer and editorial assistant for the Wine Scholar Guild.

    WSG thanks the following organizations for their support:


    Sign up to receive our latest updates