VINEYARD is often characterised by its terroir , a French term loosely translating as “a sense of place” that refers to the specific geographical and geological characteristics of grapevine plantations, which may be imparted in the wine.
The best soils for vineyards are not the rich, fertile humus suitable for other produce, but often hard, stony or sandy soils that are well drained (which is why slopes are often ideal).
A common saying is that “the worse the soil, the better the wine.”
It is a cliché among winemakers that “wine is made in the vineyard”
This means that good quality wine can be made from only good quality fruit, and that what goes on in the vineyard is more important to wine quality than what happens in the winery.
The flavors of wine are affected by how long the grapes are on the vine.
Earlier harvested grapes have lower sugar levels and higher acidity for a crisp, tart wine (typically white wines!)
Red grapes require a more balanced sugar and acidity level for complexity
And dessert wines are left on the vines the longest
It’s not the grapes that determine the color, it’s the skin.
Skin contact when making wine is called “maceration” and extracts color and fruit flavor from the skins without any bitter tannins!
Think of it like making a cup of tea and how leaving a tea bag in your cup affects the color and flavor.
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