It is common knowledge that to make a good wine you need to have a good grape, but how important is the age of the vineyard? Can your age determine the profile of the wine that we will enjoy in the glass? Come by and read!
The quality of the grape increases with the age of the vine
When you start a wine project, the first thing you need, in addition to money to invest and a good portion of land to establish the vineyard, is a lot of patience. Since during the first years the plant will begin to adapt to the terroir and the first few bunches will not even be used to make a wine. Perhaps they will be used so that each winery can carry out the first experiments and project the potential of the vineyard. For this reason, to start making the first wines, it is vital to have vineyards that are a few years old, since it takes between 3 or 4 years for the vines to give their first grapes with oenological potential and, according to experts, about 10 years so that a very good wine can be made with these grapes.
Young vineyard, fresh wines
After about 5-7 years, when the vine begins to reach its youth, the time will come when the plant will offer some very vigorous bunches at harvest, which will be the ideal raw material for making wines with an explosion of fruit and a marked profile. varietal. Wines in which the primary aromas and flavors will be the protagonists in our glasses.
Ripe vineyard, wines from terroir
And just as in the path of life, the passage of time fills some people with wisdom, exactly the same thing happens to the vineyard. Since over the years, vintage after vintage, the plant will find itself more balanced and thus the wine that originates from its grains will go from a clearly fresh and fruity profile, with well-defined initial characteristics, to a more complex style in which, in addition to the varietal profile, will add the personality of the terroir. The plant will already feel at home in the soil in which it nested and that feeling of satisfaction will be transferred to the wines that are born from that vineyard.
Old vineyard, wines with identity
When the plant already exceeds the first 30 years of life, it begins to be wiser and more concentrated, and all this will translate into enormous potential. But not everything is so perfect, since at the same time the plant will be much less vigorous. Thus, from the oldest vineyards those wines are born that ensure an infallible duo with the unique seal of quality and style. In addition, these wines will be ideal for long aging periods and give us, also with the passage of time and patience, true wine jewels.
Old vineyard, wines with history
In the world, vines over 70 years old are currently highly valued, which really are relics of viticulture, but a few decades ago when the volume was appreciated more than the quality of the wine, the opposite was true. For this reason, unfortunately, in many vineyards in all latitudes of the world, multitudes of old vines were uprooted to make way for younger and more productive plantations. The fact: In Slovenia they claim to have one of the oldest vineyards in the world, 400 years old. And still every year it is harvested!
So why is the age of the vine so important? Because over time the plant manages to produce a perfect balance between grape production and harvest. And at the same time, since the vine is more installed on the ground, it will be less sensitive to climatic changes -which today cause headaches in many parts of the world- thus ensuring greater stability of the wine over time.
Mariana Gil Juncal
Graduated in social communication, journalist and sommelier.