While grapes ripen, the appearance of vine shoots changes. They store up starch, their green hue fades and turns brown and the fragile shoots become hard canes. Under our temperate climes, this phenomenon called lignification* begins in August. Hence, its French name of aoutement (“augusting”)! However, this process goes on for as long as the leaves are alive. The resistance of vines to winter frosts and the strength of the future shoots in spring depend on this major stage of the biological cycle of the plant. After the grape harvest, the leaves turn yellow and red, clothing the vineyards for several days with sumptuously rich colors and when the cold weather starts, they fall.