A vintner’s philosophy can be dictated by economic realities or can be based first and foremost on a passion for quality. Most wineries fall somewhere in between these two extremes.
A wine is not only the result of climate and soil of a particular vineyard, but also the mindset and techniques of the people who make it. For example, some winemakers insist on using organic farming techniques. This has an impact on the long term health of a particular plot of land and will influence the grapes that are grown.
For some boutique wineries, economic realities may not be much of a concern at all. Some wealthy vintners have the philosophy of making the best wine that they can, regardless of the cost. Even this can be misleading though, and expense does not necessarily correlate to quality and balance.
For instance, fermenting and aging Chardonnay “sur lies” in new French oak is very expensive and will substantially increase production costs. This wine will be very different from the same Chardonnay grapes aged in stainless steel tanks. Determining which wine is better depends on who you ask.
The vast majority of wineries have the philosophy of producing sound wines at reasonable prices. These producers will do whatever they can to improve quality while staying within a certain price point.
In the vineyard, there is a range of philosophical positions on how and when grapes should be harvested. Should BRIX measurements and other objective numbers dictate when the grapes should be picked? Or should this decision be made by actually tasting the grapes? These are philosophical distinctions that will result in very different wines.