Grape to Glass  :  Planting Wine Grapes

Much of the winemaking process starts before the grapes arrive at the winery. A grape, and the resulting wine, can be shaped by the care it receives, the location it’s planted in and time it spends on the vine, along with many other factors.

pinot noir

Since wine grapes are influenced by their surroundings, California growers play an integral part in making sure the state’s wines have complexity and exceptional flavor.

 
planting wine grapes in California

American Viticultural Area

A designated wine-grape growing region in the United States distinguishable by geographic features, which are defined by the U.S. government.

Choosing a Site

There are certain places on earth where rainfall, elevation, temperature, soil and sunlight align to create the perfect conditions for wine-grape growing, and California has an abundance of these environmental sweet spots. But, when choosing a site for a vineyard, growers must also take into account the specific growing needs of the variety. For instance, zinfandel is generally happier in a warmer climate, whereas pinot noir and riesling do better in cooler climates. While grape varieties can grow in a diverse range of environments, it is up to the grower to find the best site possible for each variety, so that grape flavor and complexity is maximized.

 

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