Wine and weather maintain a deep relationship that begins in the location of the vineyards, continues both in the choice of the varieties planted and in the final maturation of the grapes each year and ends in the characteristics and styles of the wines that are made with them.
Wine and good weather
The final objective of viticulture is to obtain a harvest of quality grapes, that is, healthy and ripe, that allow the production of wine.
To obtain these grapes we need vines that each year can grow and develop until their vegetative cycle is complete.
In order to complete this process, the vine needs five basic elements. The heat, of fundamental importance, the solar light to combine carbon dioxide and water during photosynthesis and the nutrients that it obtains from the soil.
Of all the above, temperature is the most important individual climatic element for the development of the vine since a prolonged period of mild average temperatures is required to achieve adequate maturity of the grapes.
This climatic requirement is what decides the distribution and location of the vineyard throughout the planet.
The great wine-growing regions are located in two wide strips of surface that are known, from the point of view of the weather, as the Temperate Zone of the Earth.
- One in the northern hemisphere, which goes from the Arctic Circle to the Tropic of Cancer, occupying vineyards between 32º and 51º latitude.
- Another in the southern hemisphere, which goes from the Antarctic Circle to the Tropic of Capricorn, occupying vineyards between 28º and 42º latitude.
This uneven distribution of latitudes is mainly explained by the difference in landmass in both hemispheres.
Cooler weather vineyards produce many of the most prestigious drinks
In vineyards located in cooler weathers, maturation is the key factor year after year.
The varieties that are planted are mainly of shorter maturation cycle and of earlier maturation, to avoid the spring frosts and the rains and colds of the autumn that can diminish or ruin the harvest.
In principle, these climatic conditions are more suitable for planting white varieties.
The vegetative cycles of the selected varieties must perfectly match the climatic conditions to obtain quality fruit.
These regions tend to have a high daily temperature range in the vineyard. In these areas, the terroir has a great relevance since the most favorable places will offer more reliable ripening of the grapes, over the years.