The secrets of the artisans
Winegrowers will tell you that a wine is made on the vine. The care that is lavished on a vine and the time its fruit are harvested have a direct impact on the finished product’s quality. It is the winemaker’s input during its development gives the wine its direction, its signature and its soul.
Factors influencing wine quality
The secret is in the vine
A number of factors come into play in forming the character of the final product, the quality of the grape foremost among them. Other factors are the terroir, or growing region, the viticulture, and the variety of grape.
Terroir encompasses all the geographic and climatic elements influencing the cultivation of the grapes.
The soil and subsoil
Vines are not exacting plants: They are content on poor soil. Rich soils produce more grapes, but of lower quality. Vines like stony soils because the stones facilitate runoff, accumulate heat in the day that is given off at night, and, above all, reflect the glare of the sun onto the grapes.
Every drop of rain, hour of sunshine, and degree of temperature will have a decisive impact on the quality and quantity of the harvest and on the notion of vintage.
Vine cultivation requires annual average temperatures above 10°C. Naturally, the Mediterranean countries are the ideal environment. Vines grow best on south-east and south-west slopes in sunny spots, and it is in these conditions that the finest products are made.
Viticulture in agriculture is the cultivation of grapevines.
Yield and maturity of grapes
Yield is the quantity of grapes produced per hectare. By avoiding overproduction, wine-growers add concentration and complexity to their harvests. Maturity refers to the harmony between the sugar and acidity content and the maturity of the grapes’ skin.
Human intervention, by those who grow the vine and those who process the harvest, is essential for a wine to reach its full potential.
The variety of grape used in a wine is the factor with the biggest influence on its taste. A grape variety is chosen according to the region it’s grown in, its exposure to the sun, its resistance, its yield and whether it will be blended or not with other varieties.