An Introduction to Wine Regions and Grape Varieties

More than 70 countries around the world produce wine. In order to produce quality fruit, suitable for making wine, the temperature of a country should be hot enough for the sugar in the grapes to accumulate sufficiently, but long enough that the phenolic components of the grape also have time to ripen. In general, countries that lie between 30 and 50 degrees north or south of the equator are though to be suitable for grape growing, but altitude and proximity to water can also influence the climate, so countries that lie closer to the equator can grow quality grapes if they have some sort of moderating climatic influence, and countries that sit further from the equator can also be suitable. This is because distance from the equator has an effect on sunlight. The further one is from the equator, the longer the days in summer. And long summer days allow sufficient sunlight for photosynthesis. Sufficient, though not abundant, water supplies are also crucial since vines need a certain amount of water to survive. Finally, cool winters, which allow for dormancy, help to maintain healthy vines. That being said, many wine-producing countries around the world do not conform to these general guidelines, proving that grape growing is a constantly evolving experiment.


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