Life in the Vineyard 3. The Human Factor

Glad that you arrived here! Let’s go with the third step of the series Life in the Vineyard, in where you can see how the  Human Factor affects the conditions to get a great and good wine… But also the price!. Check out the vine growing techniques.   . Last note: I’ve separated this post in the 3 aspects, as they are easier to manage. So, the most important aspects that will affect the taste of the wine because of 3 variables: Life in the Vineyard: 1. The Climate & Place, as it determines the growing conditions of the grapevine. Life in the Vineyard: 2. The Varietal, as it is important it can express the better in the specific climate conditions Life in the Vineyard: 3. The Human Factor, as the techniques vine-growers use to facilitate the better conditions of the land to get the best wine...

Life in the Vineyard 2. The Varietal

Congratulations! If you passed Climate & Place you are now ready for the 2nd step in the series Life in the Vineyard, where you can see The Varietal as another key factor for producing a good and great wine.   . Ready for more about Life in the Vineyard? Vitis vinifera is the scientific name of the grapevine and there are between 5,000 and 10,000 subspecies. That said, only 150 of them are planted in significant amounts to produce wine. These different vines perform in different ways depending on the climate, the soil and the amount of sun hours they need to ripen. On average, a vine needs between 80 and 120 days of sun in a year. Also, a subspecies can have different clones. A clone is a specific individual, therefore, there are still many differences among them. Like humans, being the same species, we are different from one another. So, the chardonnay planted in California doesn’t perform in the same way that the chardonnay planted in France. It’s because of this differential factor that it’s important to match the varietal (and the clone) correctly with the place. Finally, there is another aspect of the vine to consider: the rootstock. The roots of the vine determine the vigor of the plant, its resistance to specific pests and are more or less adapted to specific types of soils. The upper part of the vine and the roots are not the same individual. It’s a major practice to graft the varietal you want to grow in the best adapted rootstock for a specific site. So, when the growers want to change the varietal they are producing,...

Life in the Vineyard 1. Climate & Place

Let’s go with the first step of the series Life in the Vineyard, in where you can see Climate & Place as key factors for growing grapes. Ready to know where vines can grow and why?   . Ready for more about Life in the Vineyard? In this video you’ll see how the specific site where a vine is planted affects the wine that is produced. What are the requirements for a vine to grow? Vines need a temperate climate (between 25ºF and 104ºF) with a long frost-free season. This is because under 25ºF there is a high risk for the plant to die, as the trunk can crack (and make the plant prone to infections) or, in the early spring, the frost can kill the buds. Also, above 104ºF the grapes shrink and dehydrate very quickly. This conditions are typically found between 30º and 50º of latitude (in both hemispheres). There is a concordance between the main wine-producing areas and these latitudes. But not only this, the specific place is also important: the climate can have significant variations due to topographic characteristics like the prevailing winds or breezes, mountains and bodies of water as lakes, seas or oceans. Key factors on vineyard to produce good and great wines Sun: it allows the grapes to ripen. In the ripening process, the acids of the green fruit become sugar. You need ripe fruit with a proper amount of sugar to ferment the must into wine. Water: this is a key factor in different stages of the plant. It’s good to have a good source of water when the vine is...

Life in the Vineyard

Let’s be honest: this post is a introduction to an aspect that, usually, it is not the most interesting for wine beginners: viticulture as the practices for growing grapevines to produce wine. I decided to make a series of posts with this because it is important to know how from the beginning, from the intensity of sun shine to the space between vines a vine-grower decides in the vineyard, affect the characteristics of the wine at the end. With these clues I try you can guess more about the wine in your glass. Next time you wonder why this wine is different from this other, ask yourself not only for the main grape varietal in the wine, but also, from where it was grown and how: is it a cool area, was the year dry or hot for the average? does this grape fits in this weather? and why is important how old the vine is?. To have an answer to all this aspects will let you know better the wine you have. So, this series of videos is to remark the most important aspects that will affect the taste of the wine because of 3 variables: The Climate and the place, as it determines the growing conditions of the grapevine. The Varietal, as it is important it can express the better in the specific climate conditions The Human Factor, as the techniques vine-growers use to facilitate the better conditions of the land to get the best wine possible. . Ready for more about Life in the Vineyard? Last note: I’ve separated this post in the 3 aspects, as they are easier...

What is in a Glass of Wine?: Sugar & Aromatic Components

What is in a Glass of Wine serves as a foundation for learning about the chemical components of wine: This post is about sugar and aromatic components in wine but there are also tannins, alcohol and acids… Though water remains the most abundant. These components, called “Structural Components”, help define the taste of wine, and they are very helpful in understanding the wide variety of aromas, flavors, tastes and textures of wine. This series of posts explains how these components appear in wine and how they affect the taste, with special attention on the different aspects that can make them change or evolve. Here it comes: What is in a Glass of Wine? (IV): Sugar & Aromatic Components   Among the 3% of other components of wine, in this video we take a look at sugar and aromatic components. The amount of sugar in wine is responsible for the sweetness of the wine, but it also acts as a moderator in high acid wines, balancing them. A wine with high acidity benefits from a high amount of sugar, like the tasty sensation we get from a lemonade that is both high in acid and sugar. Sugar is a main component in grapes and it is transformed into alcohol during the fermentation process that converts must into wine. Grapes contain different types of sugar and these sugars are more or less easily transformed into alcohol, so, it may happen, that after the fermentation process is ended, some sugar remains in the resulting wine. This not-transformed-into-alcohol sugar is called “residual sugar” and depending on the amount of it or its type, wine is more or less sweet....