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How Good Grape Growing Impacts Wine

Jun 2, 2008
Where and when grapes are grown can affect the way they taste when made into wine. As you probably know, there are many different varieties of wine; many more than there are types of grape varieties. This is due to the fact that the same variety of grape grown in one country, will taste differently then that same variety grown in another country.

It is the variables of the growing conditions that create the wide flavor differences. Some regions are well known for their wine because they tend to have ideal growing conditions for grapes that allow them to ripen at just the right time and avoid problems that can affect taste.

Why High Quality is Best

High quality grapes equal high quality wine. However, everyone has different tastes, so what determines high quality? Quality of wine and grapes is usually decided by the growing conditions. Since growing conditions vary widely, so does the taste of wine. High quality wine has an enjoyable taste, good body and is pleasing is all aspects. People expect certain wines to taste a certain way and when they do not it is unpleasant.

Factors that Affect Wine's Taste

There are a wide range of factors that affect the taste of wine. Some of the factors include:

- length of ripening season
- weather
- soil
- drainage
- topography
- sun
- pests

As you can see these conditions will vary in many ways from area to area. What may be happening in the fields in California is not going to be happening in fields in France. This is why wine tastes so different depending upon the region where it is grown.

Additionally, grapes taste different from year to year, even when they are grown in the exact same region. This is because growing conditions vary from year to year in a region.

The Effects of Fungus

There are two types of fungus that have an effect on grapes. One type causes bad results and the other type causes good results.

Grey rot typically occurs during long humid periods, and covers the grape with a grey powder. Eventually the grape will darken and then drop off the vine. The taste of grapes infected with grey rot will produce a wine that tastes moldy.

Nobel rot makes fermentation slow, which actually makes for a smooth wine that lasts for decades in storage. This type of fungus is actually beneficial to the taste of the wine.

As you can see, there are many things that occur during a grape's growth. Most of these stem from the grape's growing conditions and impact the ultimate outcome when that grape goes into wine. This is why wine making is so exact and why it is taken seriously. Growing conditions and regional wines are important to the industry. So remember, the next time you taste your favorite bottle of wine, that more went into it making it taste the way it does than you may have once thought.
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