All great wine begins with exceptional grapes, and the state’s vintners know the best grapes are produced under the watchful eye of California growers. Grapes are just the beginning of the winemaking process, but are the foundation upon which all of the wines’ flavors and nuances are built.
Just like cooking with high-quality ingredients, the best wines start with the most exceptional grapes.
A person who makes wine. Vintners are generally employed by wineries or wine companies, and many have their own wineries or labels.
Hundreds of factors are taken into consideration when growing grapes, including soil characteristics, grape variety, sunlight, temperature, water, wind, elevation, time on the vine and more. Each type of grape has its own preferences, and California growers take special care to balance all of these factors to produce the most flavorful grapes possible. But grapes are just the beginning of the journey to the wineglass. Take a look at each of the steps to get a feel for how these grapes are transformed into your favorite bottle of wine.
Planting – Many decisions must be made when planting wine grapes, including choosing an ideal vineyard site and trellis system, accounting for climate and soil conditions, as well as grafting rootstock and choosing the right vine clones for the site.
The Growing Season – Growing wine grapes takes year round care. The arrival of winter, spring, summer and fall each bring another stage of growth for the vine, and what happens during those seasons has an impact on the grapes and ultimately a wine’s flavor and characteristics.
Making the Wine – Once the wine grapes have been harvested, California’s expert vintners use different techniques to turn the grapes into red, white, sparkling or dessert wines.