What goes into grape growing?
A great deal of fuss has been made about wine for centuries. And there’s a good reason why! An incredible amount of care and knowledge goes into making good wine - and it can’t be done just anywhere.
Australia’s terroir is incredibly diverse and spans 65 wine regions, from the Mediterranean climate of McLaren Vale to the cooler climates of Tasmania and parts of Victoria, and from the low humidity of the Barossa Valley to the warm-to-hot climate and moist soils of the Hunter Valley. This diversity allows Australian winemakers to produce nearly every major wine variety while ensuring each wine has a strong sense of place.
So much can (and does) influence grape growing but these key things are worth knowing, based on the objectives or goals of the grower:
YieldIn viticulture, the yield is a measure of the amount of grapes or wine that is produced per unit surface of vineyard, and is therefore a type of crop yield. The yield is often seen as a quality factor, with lower yields associated with wines with more concentrated flavours.
Management of vineyard
There are various management techniques that impact the end product of the wine, including biodiversity, pruning, mid row cropping, cover crops, soil health and post harvest care of the vines.
The growing philosophy
Like all forms of agriculture, viticulture is firmly shaped by the growing philosophy of the grower. A minimal intervention approach means allowing the vineyard to express itself. Other approaches are more intensive - seeking consistency and stability over time.
Location of vineyard
Additionally, how regional factors interplay with the grower's work has a significant impact on the quality and characteristics of the grapes. Where a vineyard is located is key. This explains why grapes from different regions and even specific sites within regions have a signature style and taste. This is what’s referred to as “terroir” or “regionality”.
Weather ... The one thing you can’t always predict (or plan for!). While there are certain predictions a grower can make, the actual conditions of a specific year can drastically impact the end quality of the wine. It's why certain vintages are favoured over others.
Photo by Lasseter Winery on Unsplash