Question: Why am I hearing so much about wine coming from high altitude vineyards?
Answer: Good point. Probably because of global warming and climate change. Many vineyards are just hotter than in previous years resulting in earlier picking times with raised alcohol levels. Generally vineyards at higher elevations (compared to the lower valley floor) enjoy a cooler growing season. The night temperatures usually are colder which helps retain acidity and there is a greater range between day and night. This all results in a longer growing season with more valuable hang time for the grapes to slowly ripen. Soils tend to be less fertile and are poorer more rocky in character with better drainage leading to more complex flavours in the wine. However, the working conditions in the steep vineyards at high elevation can be quite difficult but the winds are usually stronger drying and protecting the grapes from diseases. Altitude or elevation of the vineyards is an important factor in the quality of the resulting wine.
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