Many circumstances determine the flavor of a wine, from the weather in a particular vintage year to the goals of the producer who wants to achieve a certain style, rich or light in flavor.
Conventionally, these factors can be divided into everything that happens in the vineyard and in the winery.
Grape variety, technology and the vinification process itself directly affect the flavor of the wine, but today’s warehouse store only considers the global natural factors that determine the style of the beverage.
Most vineyards are located between 30 and 50 degrees latitude. The vines love temperate climates: lots of sunshine allows the berry to gain sugar, and low nighttime temperatures allow the berry to retain its natural acidity.
In cooler wine regions, the crop takes longer to ripen, the sugar concentration in the berry is lower and the acidity is higher. Wines from cool climates are characterized as elegant, subtle. Acidity gives freshness, balance and structure to the wine’s flavor,
Hot regions have more sunny days and higher temperatures. The high sugar level in the berry during fermentation turns into a high alcohol level and a rich dense flavor. Characteristic notes are ripe dark fruits and berries: plum, blueberry, blackberry.
The fruit profile of a red wine suggests the place of production: a wine from a hot region has ripe or jammy notes, while a wine from a cool region has delicate fruit notes like freshly picked raspberries.
Chardonnay, cabernet, merlot are grown in different regions, where they show themselves differently. Riesling, sauvignon blanc, pinot noir like it cool, while shiraz and grenache like it hot.
Terroir is the combination of many natural factors that characterize a particular region, vineyard or individual site. Terroir wines are those that reflect a distinctive local style. In this case, producers say that the wine is “made in the vineyard, not the winery,” meaning that the influence of technology is minimal. The wine has been shaped by natural factors:
- soil chemistry and physical composition
- Soil drainage: how and how much moisture the vines received
- age and type of grafting vines
- vegetation: grasses between the rows compete with the vines for water and nutrients, help with pest control, fertilize the soil
- microbial activity of native yeasts and bacteria
- exposure and slope of the vineyard, which determines the amount of sunlight received
- vineyard surface: the color of the soil affects its ability to reflect, absorb, and retain solar heat.
- placement near water bodies
- specific weather conditions: day-night temperature differences, humidity and fog, the influence of sea winds, altitude, etc.
All of these factors combine to create unique conditions for the vines in each individual vineyard. If you change a single component, the result will change.