The stage of fruit set follows flowering almost immediately, when the fertilized flower begins to develop a seed and grape berry to protect the seed. This stage is very critical for wine production since it determines the potential crop yield. Not every flower on the vine gets fertilized, with the unfertilized flowers eventually falling off the vine. The percentage of fertilized flowers averages around 30 but can get as high as 60 or be much lower. Climate and the health of the vine play an important role with low humidity, high temperatures and water stress having the potential of severely reducing the amount flowers that get fertilized.
Following fruit set, the grape berries are green and hard to the touch. They have very little sugar and are high in organic acids. They begin to grow to about half their final size when they enter the stage of veraison. This stage signals the beginning of the ripening process and normally takes place around 40–50 days after fruit set. In the Northern Hemisphere this will be around the end of July and into August and between the end of January into February for the Southern Hemisphere.