When tasting different white wines, red wines or rosé wines, you quickly realize that not all of them have the same characteristics. Sometimes, bottles of wine from the same grape variety, or from the same terroir, are completely different. This is explained by the different factors that influence the quality of the wine . Let's find out.
Wine grape varieties
The taste of a wine is essentially governed by the choice of grape variety . And when we know that there are more than 10,000 grape varieties in the world, we better understand the diversity of wines and their aromas.
Generally speaking, we see that the nuances of typicity are more or less marked between certain grape varieties, and we can thus distinguish that the intensity of the aromas varies according to the berries:
- Small berries, which offer a more concentrated flavor . This is because the aromatic components of the grape are mainly present in the grape skin, as are the coloring substances;
- Thin-skinned berries, which produce sweet wines , because they are often affected by noble rot;
- Thick-skinned grapes, which produce more aromatic and colorful wines .
The geographical origin of the vineyard
The vine likes to flourish in temperate zones , where temperatures vary between 10 and 20°C. It is in this logic that we find the majority of the world's vineyards between 30° and 50° latitude in both hemispheres.
Several climatic and geographical conditions then come together to offer the vine everything it needs to grow:
- Mountain ranges and forests that protect the vines from wind and rain ;
- Large bodies of water to humidify the air in dry weather, but also to retain heat during the day, and release it in the evening.
For vines to fully flourish and produce good wines, they need different elements.
- The sun : the growth of the vines takes place by photosynthesis, so it is necessary to have a minimum amount of sunshine of between 1,300 and 1,500 hours per year;
- Heat : without necessarily talking about sunshine, the vine needs a minimum of heat. It is even very sensitive to frost, and therefore prefers temperatures above 10°C. The warmer the climate, the more the grape is filled with sugar and intense aromas;
- Rain : generally speaking, vines do not like excessive humidity, but they do not like drought either. Rainwater is then essential, with ideal rainfall estimated at 675 mm per year.
Depending on the climatic conditions of the vineyard, the quality criteria of the wines therefore vary, which allows us to have such varied vintages.
The orientation of the vines
Climatic conditions and the geography of the vineyard have a direct impact on the quality of red wines , white wines and rosé wines . But to go even further, the plot of the vineyard, its exposure and its orientation also have a role.
Everything then depends on the inclination, orientation and height of the hillsides . With a sloping vineyard, natural drainage of the soil is favored, which represents a strong point for all winegrowers. Then, a south-facing hillside benefits more from the sun, which suggests a more qualitative and complex wine tasting.
The quality of the soil and subsoil
Very often, vines prefer poor, well-drained soils . In fact, the roots of the vine plants will dig very deep into the subsoils, sometimes up to 15 meters deep, to draw the minerals essential to their growth (iron, calcium, magnesium, nitrogen, etc.). The deeper the vine goes to find what it needs, the more the aromatic constituents of the grape variety will be developed.
Indeed, by drawing its nutrients from the subsoil, the vine strengthens itself, and the roots will transmit all their vigor to the plant, which is obviously felt in the composition and taste of the grape berries.
The Provençal terroir so dear to the Château de Berne estate
The Berne area is located in the Provençal hinterland. Here, between olive fields and forests, the vineyards benefit from limestone soil conducive to drainage and rich nutrients. The vines then draw all the power of the terroir from the subsoils, while benefiting from a Mediterranean climate particularly suited to viticulture .
With an average temperature of 14°C and precipitation of between 600 and 900 mm, the terroir benefits above all from excellent sunshine (2,700 hours per year). So many qualities combined to produce fresh, light and very aromatic rosé wines, white wines and red wines .
The vine is a living product that feeds abundantly on everything around it. In this sense, the qualities of a wine depend on many factors. To learn all the subtleties of a wine's aromas, discover the wine tasting workshops at the Domaine de Berne .