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...