How Does Weather Affect Grape Growing?
Have you ever wondered what creates the taste and vibrancy of individual wines? The type of grape plays a role in the flavor, and how the winemaker ages his or her wine is important too; but the environment also plays a role.
In fact, the weather determines how easy it is to grow grapes and the flavors they take on. Climate is one of the most important factors in influencing a crop for your favorite wines, including quality, productivity, and more.
If viticulture interests you, here are some interesting facts about grape growing and wine:
- Drought: Drought might wreak havoc on some crops, but for some winemakers, a drought could be a good thing. In fact, some winemakers enjoy minimal irrigation for their crops; it is known as dry growing. While it can be useful in some situations, a drought makes it hard for some vines to reserve carbohydrates, which means less bud break and weak growth overall. This will result in less grapes at harvest time.
- Heat and Cold: Temperatures play a pivotal role as well. Grapes that come from certain regions have flavor profiles based on the heat they grow in. Grapevines thrive in temperatures under 95 degrees Fahrenheit, and their metabolism decreases after that threshold, which often means unhealthy vines. To ripen, however, grapes do need heat. If the temperatures are too cold or unseasonably cool, the grapes cannot ripen properly. Most grapes start growing at 50 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, and require long warming periods, especially during flowering.
- Fog: Frequent bouts of fog affect grape growth too. Fog makes the area stay cooler, and the sunlight cannot penetrate through to help ripen grapes during the day. At the same time, fog at night helps grapes keep their acidity and freshness, which is a positive thing, because it balances the flavor of the grape.
To see how weather and soil play a role in grape growing, come to Napa Valley and taste the wines of the region. From wines grown on sunny hillsides to those grown in the fog, you can see how weather affects everything, from the vibrant colors to mouthfeel to taste.
To make your stay easier, book your room at Napa Valley Hotel and Suites. Call us at 707-226-1871 or reserve your room online.