The grapevine floral development pathway commences in early spring with floral evocation in the shoot apical meristem (SAM) of the sylleptic latent bud. Grapevine floral evocation is defined as the irreversible biochemical and cellular changes in the SAM, which commit the plant to the subsequent formation of flowers. These changes are induced by non‐leaf derived stimuli acting directly on the SAM. The timing of floral evocation, however, between budburst and floral initiation, is unknown. The aims of this study were: (i) to establish a precise timing for floral evocation; and (ii) to identify reliable reproducible markers for floral evocation.