Grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) is a non-climacteric fruit species used as table fruit, dried raisins, and for vinification (wines) and distillation (liquors). In recent years, our knowledge of the molecular basis of ripening regulation has improved. Water status, light conditions, and temperature may hasten, delay, or enhance ripening. Hormones seem to play a central role, as their concentrations change prior to and during ripening and in response to several environmental cues. The review summarizes recent data related to the molecular and hormonal control of grape berry development and ripening, with special emphasis on secondary metabolism and its response to the environment, and pinpoints some experimental limitations.