Potted `Chardonnay' grapevines (Vitis vinifera L.) with either two or three shoots were grown in a greenhouse for one month and then transferred to a phytotron room, where either one or two shoots were shaded. Twenty-four days after transfer, leaves at the fifth node of either the light-adapted or shade-adapted shoot were exposed to a 2-hour pulse of 14CO2. Both light environment and number of shade shoots on the vine had a significant effect on photosynthate partitioning within the plant following a 22-hour chase. Leaves fed with 14CO2 on a light-adapted shoot translocated 26.1% and 12.7% more radioactivity to the roots and trunk, respectively, than leaves from shade-adapted shoots. Photosynthates were exported from light-adapted leaves to shade-adapted shoots (1.3% of total 14C in plant). The number of shaded shoots and the light environment of the fed leaf had a large effect on partitioning of photosynthates among ethanol-insoluble, water-soluble, and chloroform-soluble fractions within the leaf. Recovered 14C in the water-soluble fraction of the fed leaf appeared to be affected more by number of shoots than by light environment of the fed leaf. The data suggest that there is a sink effect on initial carbon partitioning patterns in grapevine leaves. Sink strength may have a greater role than light environment. A large proportion of interior leaves versus exterior leaves may be costly with respect to the carbohydrate budget of a vine.