How Does Climate Make a Difference?

Grapes vary slightly with regards to their individual needs but they will generally thrive within certain climatic conditions. An average annual temperature of between 14-15°C, with summers not less than 19°C would be ideal.

The summers should not be too hot and autumn should not be too cool. The vines need around 675ml of rain per year, with the majority of showers in the winter and spring months. Too much rainfall in summer and autumn can harm the grapes. They become overblown and watery—and the wine tastes like that too. The weather, as we see, is a constant worry for grape growers.


How Climate Can Vary from Region to Region, Even Farm to Farm

There are three types of climate that affect the quality of grapes.

The Macro-Climate is the climate of a large area within a district. It might cover many farms that all have the same weather patterns.

The Meso-Climate is the climate experienced by a specific vineyard block (on one farm, say) and it is influenced by slope, altitude, surrounding water masses such as lakes and dams, and the protection afforded by hills, ridges or avenues of trees. All these factors mean that a block of Cabernet grown on one part of a farm produces a different quality wine to a block of Cabernet grown on another part of the same farm and is the reason why a producer may give a different name to the same varietal of wine produced by it. Then we go down to…

The Micro-Climate, the prevailing climate within the vine canopy, which is influenced by row direction, the trellising system used and the nature of the soil surface. This is why even wines from different barrels taste differently.