Wine Grape Growing

Tuesday, September 4th, 2007 at 12:00 am

wine grownWinemaking is a complicated venture. The making of fine wines certainly requires not only extensive knowledge but experience as well. There are certain factors that affect every winemaking process and it doesn’t start off with just the actual processing of the fruit. In fact, winemaking starts from the process of grape cultivation and ends with the final product being transported to the market.

Planting grapes

Winemaking starts with the grape. Grape cultivation is an important factor that will have an effect with wine production later on. How the grapes are cultivated, cared for and maintained will eventually result on the varied quality levels of the harvest. How the quality of the grape harvest will come out will depend on three major factors- the location, the soil, and the weather.

Location

The location where the grapes are being grown can greatly affect the quality of the grapes. There are certain areas that the best grape varietals can be cultivated. Growing the grapes in ideal locations may allow the fruit to be cared in an environment that will optimize the ripening process that will result in the finest wines. But it might require careful planning to figure out the best possible locations to plant grape vines.

For example, different land features may offer certain advantages as well as disadvantages in the cultivation of the grapes. Grapes planted on hillsides may be able to escape the threat of an early frost, but they may also be susceptible to soil erosion. Grapes planted in the valley may be easy to maintain and cultivate, but it may make the vines at risk with frost as cold air usually settles in low lying areas such as valleys.

Terrain

Another important factor that affects grape cultivation is the soil. Most grape vines are shallow rooted. It is easy for weeds and other plants to rob the grape vines of essential nutrients and moisture as it grows. The right type of soil would be the type that can offer sufficient ground cover to protect the roots as well as provide the vines with all the essential nutrients that the grapes would need.

The grape vines would grow best in light soil that has a layer of pebbles or sand to provide sufficient drainage. Careful preparation of the land where the grapes vines would be planted is also important to ensure that they grow well.

Climate

Weather is also a very important factor in the cultivation of grapes. This is especially true come harvest time where current weather will affect the quality of the grapes. Heavy rainfall that comes prior to the grape harvest will result in swollen fruit that may produce watery wine.

Knowledge of the weather patterns is usually taken into consideration when planning what type of grapes is to be cultivated in a certain vineyard or area. This will ensure that the vines planted would be able to cope up with the weather changes that come up during the different seasons.

Timing is also important in grape cultivation since the ripening process of the grapes would greatly depend on the seasons. Harvesting should be able to coincide with the time that the grapes are at its most optimum period of ripening.