The most important aspects of wine grape growing are the annual lifecycle of the vine, climate, terrain, vineyard management, pests and diseases, terroir, and planting grapes. Of these factors, climate is one of the most important. Vineyards thrive in moderate ones that are usually between 20 and 50 degrees Latitude on both sides of the Equator.
California has many different terrains suited to a large number of varietals. It refers to the soil type as well as the local topography. The composition, fertility and slope of the soil in a vineyard all affect wine grape growing.
When planting grapes, the grower must determine which grape varietal to plant based on the characteristics of the land. In California, rootstocks and clones need to be chosen with the great care, because wine grape growing is affected my many different factors.
Not all aspects of the grape growing process are left to nature. Vineyard management also has a profound impact on the finished product. Successful managers are in sync with the physical aspects of their property, and make grape growing decisions accordingly.
Pests and Diseases
Grape growers constantly need to be on guard against pests and diseases. There are many strategies that are used to minimize these threats. For example, phylloxera can be controlled through grafting Vitis vinifera cuttings onto Native American rootstocks.
Throughout Europe, specific varietals have been grown in certain regions for centuries. After growing grapes in the same place for many years, managers became aware of the aspects of their land that make it unique. Grape vines particularly respond to localized features that are inherent in the vineyard. This complicated notion is known as terroir.
The Annual Life Cycle of the Vine
The annual life cycle of the vine lasts from early spring to late fall. Several wine grape growing regions in California Wine Country have very long growing seasons, especially AVAs in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties.