What makes a succesful vineyard?
So before we go into a few factors that can make your vineyard successful, let's get a few notions straight for the large reading public. What is actually a vineyard? A vineyard is a plantation of grape-bearing vines, grown mainly for wine making. A winery is a licensed property that makes wine. So, a vineyard can have a winery that produces wine from the grapes it grows, but it can also sell its grapes to outside wineries and purely act as a grape-grower.
To make it simple, wine can be classified into 5 main categories: Red, White, Rose, Sweet or Dessert and Sparkling. The type of grape determines largely the flavor, color, sugar, acidity and the levels of tannin in the wine. Wines with high acidity will be more tart, whereas low-acidity wines will taste rounder or richer.
4 factors are known to contribute to wine quality, so to start thinking about creating your own vineyard, check if you meet these:
Climate and Weather - Cooler climates produce wines higher in acidity but lower in sugar and alcohol. Hotter climates produce wines with higher sugars, higher alcohol and fuller body. Producers trying to grow varieties that are not adapted in that specific climate will produce a wine of lower quality. Grapevines thrive best in climates with long warm summers, and rainy winters.
Temperature - To carry out photosynthesis, grape vines must be exposed to temperatures between 15 °C and 21 °C.
Growing Practices - The ways in which a producer handles the vines will also influence the quality of the resultant wine. Harvesting is an important factor, since a harvest that is too early or late can lead to grapes lacking their ideal balance.
Wine-making Methods - Wineries follow four main steps when producing their wines, maceration, fermentation, extraction and aging, and they must ensure a stable process to get the most from their grapes.
- Set the direction / strategy for your vineyard
- Do your homework regarding legal issues
- Know your audience
- Hire knowledgeable people
- Think both short term and long term
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