With the unseasonably glorious weather last week our recent covering of snow is all but forgotten. But we’ve also had a number of questions and comments following our snowy social media posts, so we thought we’d take this opportunity to momentarily revisit the cold.
Although wine production is traditionally associated with warmer climates, many stunning varieties can be found in regions with temperatures that regularly drop below zero. Colder climates do produce distinctly different wines and different grape varieties are suited to different conditions. At Bride Valley we grow a combination of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier – varieties all suited to cooler climes.
Although extreme cold weather can be detrimental to all grapevines, it is the temperature during the growing season, from when the buds first appear, that have the most influence on fruit quality. Short periods of chilly weather when the vines are dormant is nothing to worry about.
In fact, cold winters and snow can be quite beneficial to vines. Cold weather kills off a number of diseases and vines actually require a certain amount of chilling in order for the buds to break later in the season. The extent of this varies depending on grape variety but exposure to cold will definitely have a positive effect on germination.
Snow has its benefits too, providing a layer of insulation on the ground and protecting the roots from freezing. As the snow melts, nitrogen – a potent mineral when it comes to vine growth – is carried from the atmosphere deep into the soil, feeding the roots.
As you can see from Pauline’s stunning image of the vineyard snow can also produce lovely views reminding us all how lucky we are to live and work in the beautiful Bride Valley all year round.