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Viticulture? Terroir? Vinification? Add to your knowledge of grape varieties and what makes a fine wine.

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Wine Facts:
Viticulture? Terroir? Vinification? Add to your knowledge of grape varieties and what makes a fine wine.

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More wine sites, including topics as diverse as the history of wine, advice on reading wine labels, tainted wine, and the art of tasting.

Grapes and Wine

The grape is the beginning and the end of wine.
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Although every grape variety has its unique identity, several other factors play an important part in honing a wine’s final character, en route from vine to bottle.
Peter Sichel, a Bordeaux wine expert, once commented that the character of a wine “. . . is determined by terroir. . . quality is largely determined by man”. Not even the most skilled wine-makers, however, can produce quality wine from poor, unhealthy grapes.

Become an informed wine drinker!
Demystifying wine
will teach you how to select that perfect bottle of vino.



Terroir is a combination of climate, soil and exposure to the elements. Wind, shelter, irrigation and vineyard location all matter. Generally, the best wines are produced under conditions where terroir is only warm enough to just ripen the grapes.

How many grapes are grown on each vine is also important. In viticulture a general rule of thumb is: smaller yields result in better quality grapes.
Learn where different varietals of wine are produced at:
Wine Regions of the World.




During vinification, much can be done to shape the character of an individual wine. Increasingly, nowadays, the rôle of the winemaker is seen as instrumental in determining the quality of a vineyard’s output.

The traditional attitude amongst wine producers of “letting nature take its course,” is fast being replaced by an interventionist approach. New technology and methodology based on scientific management are undoubtedly shaping the future of the world wine industry.

For more on vinification, visit


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