Cold Climate Wines vs. Traditional Wines
Climate plays a huge role when it comes to making and enjoying wines. The climate of the region where the wine is produced has a great impact on the end product. Although there are a number of variables winemakers may choose throughout the wine making process to place their personal stamp on the product, much of what eventually ends up in a wine bottle depends upon the environment where the grapes are grown and the time of harvest.
It’s important for wine drinkers to understand the differences between cold climate wines and traditional wines. Understanding the basic weather conditions of the area where a wine is produced will help you understand what awaits you inside the bottle.
Warm Climate Wines
Warm climate wine-producing regions like France, Spain, California, Australia and South Africa have warm temperatures year round, with sunlight that is more acute and a longer growing period than cold climate wine areas such as Wisconsin, Austria and Germany. Grapes developed in these regions that are warmer consequently and usually quick to ripen. Grapes grown in cold regions tend to take longer in ripening. As grapes ripen, the sugar present inside develops while its natural acid decreases.
Cold Climate Wines
Therefore, cold-climate wines are generally higher in acidity and lower in alcohol. They frequently reveal more green and herbaceous flavors than their warm-climate rivals. Additionally, they give a more natural flavor blended in together with the fruitiness. Relatively, warm climate wines are full of alcohol and low in acidity — the acid gets softer to produce mature and fruity flavors. All through the lengthy and warm growing period, the sugar in the grapes accumulates quickly. This causes the grapes to drop much of the refreshing acidity as the sugar accumulates.
Both acid and sugar play crucial roles in the wine that is produced. Acid keeps the wine from being flaccid as well as losing taste. Sugar is the major source of alcohol in wine.
Throughout the process of fermentation, the sugar in the grape react with yeast to produce carbon dioxide and alcohol. There is a positive relationship between the quantity of sugar in a grape and the amount of alcohol in the wine — the riper the grape, the more alcoholic it becomes.
Ultimately, there are three main differences to keep in mind when comparing cold climate wines to traditional, warm climate wines.
- Alcohol: Traditional wines produced in warm climates have more alcohol.
- Acidity: Cold climate wines are higher in acidity than traditional wines.
- Weight: Cold climate wines generally have a lighter feel in the mouth, while those from warm climates have a heavier feel.
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Catch Wine - Your Guide to America's Wineries
Cold Country Vines & Wines
Kewaunee, WI 54216