Microarray analysis of Vitis vinifera cv. Shiraz developing berries has revealed the expression patterns of several categories of genes. Microarray slides were constructed from 4,608 PCR-amplified cDNA clones derived from a ripening grape berry cDNA library. The mRNA expression levels of the genes represented by these cDNAs were measured in flowers, week 2 post-flowering whole berries, week 5, week 8, week 10 (véraison, green berries), week 12 and week 13 berry skin. In addition, a comparison of RNA expression in pigmented and unpigmented berry skin at véraison (week 10) was undertaken. Image and statistical analysis revealed four sets of genes with distinctive and similar expression profiles over the course of berry development. The first set was composed of genes which had maximum RNA expression in flowers, followed by a steady decrease in expression. The most prominent group within this set were genes which have a role in photosynthesis. The second set of cDNAs was dominated by genes involved in flavonoid biosynthesis and had a peak of expression week 2 post-flowering. The data indicate co-ordinate regulation of flavonoid biosynthetic genes which code for the enzymes 4-coumarate-CoA ligase, chalcone synthase, chalcone isomerase, flavonone hydroxylase, anthocyanidin reductase and cytochrome b5. The third set of cDNAs exhibited maximum expression week 5 post-flowering, midway between flowering and véraison, a period of rapid berry growth. This set of cDNAs is dominated by genes which code for structural cell wall proteins. The fourth set of genes was dramatically up-regulated at véraison and remained up-regulated until 13 weeks post-flowering. This set of genes was composed of a diverse range of genes, a reflection of the complexity of ripening, most with no known function.