Topic of the Week 2/5/18 - Advanced

Thank you and for your input last week on Co-fermentation, take a look if you missed it!

This week: Slopes

How does the angle and exposure of a slope (or lack thereof) influence a vineyard’s growth cycle and fruit quality? Use specific vineyard examples from the winegrowing world to illustrate this impact.

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  • Take into account slope and aspect when planting a vineyard; a variety on a sunny site/warm climate may need to be planted east/west to allow the canopy to shade the grapes, or vineyards in cooler climates may be oriented north/south to maximize exposure as the sun traverses the sky. The sun in the morning is more gentle than afternoon sun and this can also dictate which varieties are planted on eastern vs western slopes. Lastly, prevailing winds may guide vineyard orientation: do you need the vines to run perpendicular to the wine to block it, or parallel to it and direct it through the vineyard (like in cooler, damper regions) to help mitigate mold and fungal pressures? A simple break in a vine row, like a tractor path, may funnel air through the vineyard to ward off issues.

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