When the Grapes Get Good

vineyardThere have been significant vineyard plantings across the state of California over the past 10 years. But only in the past five years or so have we seen significant increases in wine production.

Why would that be? That topic is addressed in today’s Wine FAQ…

QUESTION: I’ve been told that it takes about three years for a vine to produce grapes that are good enough to be used for wine. Is this true, and if so, why does it take so long?

ANSWER: It’s true. When a grapevine is first planted, its first job is to develop a deep and healthy root system, and a solid stalk. Virtually all of its energy goes toward those pursuits, which means there’s little energy left over for producing fruit.

Once the roots are established and the stalk is strong, the plant’s energy is redirected to the fruit.

Vines can produce wine-worthy grapes within three years, but there typically is a considerable jump in quality each year in years four, five and six.

And, many winemakers tell us, once a grapevine reaches the ripe old age of seven, it can normally be relied upon to produce grapes of exceptional quality for decades to come.

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