The Key Elements to Growing Wine Grapes
Sun, rain, and soil are the 3 essential elements needed for wine grapes to grow.
Sunlight is a vital element for viticulture as it provides the energy to trigger photosynthesis, allowing the vines to grow and the grapes to produce sugar.
Wine grapes develop at their best with dry and long, warm-to-hot summers and cool-but-not-rigid winters.
Thriving grapevines need a moderate amount of rainfall.
The balance between sunlight and rainfall is crucial for high-quality wines.
Artificial irrigation is usually not used in Italy. Some regions in the south may adopt it due to the arid climate.
Soil composition encompasses deeper elements that affect the quality of the viticulture. The chemical and physical makeup of the soil, the soil surface and drainage, the heat retention. These are all elements that viticulturalists need to consider when examining a potential vineyard site.
Interestingly, soils used for grape growing are unsuitable for almost all other types of agriculture. Vines can be grown in a wide variety of soils, including sand, clay, pebbles and even rocks, with dozens of combinations in between.
The Famous French Word, Terrior
The grapevine alone does not make the wine. It's the environment, what happens around the vine, the terrior, that also contributes to the wine's characteristics.
Terrior is a French term meaning ‘a sense of place’. It is probably one of the most used and least understood words in wine.
Let's untangle the word terrior until it becomes familiar.