grape

Vineyards are located in many parts of the world and are central to the wine industry. A vineyard is a place for growing grapes that are used for making wine, raisins or table grapes. Vineyards have a significant historical background, dating back to Biblical times. During the Middle Ages, it was the responsibility of the monks and the Church to maintain vineyards. To this day, many fine wines are made in monasteries.

Vineyards take an a lot of resources to maintain, which is why the early church often handled a lot of the vineyards in earlier days. Vineyards in different parts of the world are planted with different types of grapes, making for a variance in the amount of resources that are needed to maintain a vineyard today. In fact, some vineyards require little attention in order to grow a suitable harvest of grapes.

There are many factors that refer to the vineyard and its ability to grow an ideal grape. Good grape growing vineyards will have the proper “terroir”. Terroir refers to the combination of factors that influence the land, such as the soil and the underlying terrain. Any underlying rocks, inclination or altitude and orientation to the sun are also part of the terroir at a winery. A winery pays close attention to the terroir of their vineyards because it can mean the difference between a good and bad crop of grapes in a particular season.

In the Northern hemisphere, there is a general ideal for where a winery should have its vineyard. A common saying in the wine world is that “the worse the soil, the better the wine”. This is a reference to the notion that vineyards are often placed on hillsides where the quality of the soil isn’t all that great, however, the inclination and angle to the sun is good. Vineyards need a lot of sun, so planting grapes in an area that gets the most sun is certainly the ideal for a winery.

There are many variables that vineyard growers are using to improve their crops. Many follow the advice of noted wine critic Robert M. Parker Jr., who suggested the notion of “green harvesting”. This refers to the removal of whole grape clusters during the growing season to improve the quality and quantity of the overall yield. Many vineyards around the world are following that principle.

Obviously the vineyard is the center of the wine industry. Vineyards actually function today in essentially the same way as they have for hundreds of years, relying on old principles of proper growth and yield to maintain the industry. Many of the fundamentals for growing are the same as they always have been. As technology adds some things to the wine industry, the basics of vineyards and growing grapes remains comfortably the same.

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