Wine Grape Plant to Wine Glass

The journey from wine grape plant to wine glass is something that the humble grape has been doing for many thousands of years. Pottery discovered in the present-day Iran, dated at 5,500 BC shows evidence of grape use for winemaking. Jars from Jiahu in China containing wine from wild grapes date back to between 6000 and 7000 BC. Nevertheless, whether ancient or modern, many of the same conditions are required and similar techniques used. The chemistry of grapes is everlasting.

The wine grape plant or vine grows, with few exceptions, in bands delineated by latitudes thirty to fifty degrees north and thirty to forty-five degrees South of the equator. Unlike most crops, grapes do not require fertile soil. The thinness of the soil restricts the quantity of the crop, producing fewer high quality grapes.

Strangely enough, soils too rich in nitrogen and other nutrients, which are normally highly beneficial for most plants, can produce grapes, which are very unsuitable for winemaking. Although they are fine for eating, they lack the desirable quantities of minerals, sugars and acids for wine.

The best wines actually come from soil that would be otherwise poor quality for agricultural purposes. The stellar wines from Bordeaux are made from grapes grown in gravely soil, atop a base of clay or chalk. Fewer grapes are grown, but high in quality. Grapevines require access to sufficient, but not too much, water and the pebbly earth allows for excellent drainage. As the roots reach down further, minerals that are more complex are absorbed.

Vineyards are mostly found in river valleys, with slopes that provide abundant sunshine. Vines there are most often of the European species vitis vinifera, from which many common wines such as Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot are made.

Viticulture, the practice of growing grapes for wine, is today one of the most complex agricultural undertakings. A master vintner, sometimes called an oenologist, must be an expert in soil chemistry and fermentation, climatology and several other ancient arts and modern sciences.

In addition to categorization by variety, the products of these vines are classified by vinification methods sparkling, still, fortified, rosé, and blush - or by region - Bordeaux, Burgundy and Alsace - and of course by vintage, as well as a dozen other methods.

After the farmer, chemist and manufacturer have had their say, the businessman must take over. In 2002, nearly six hundred million gallons of wine were sold in America alone, representing over twenty billion US dollars in consumer spending. France led the pack with 22% of export volume, with Italy a close 20% behind.

The bold artists of wine must possess a sensitive nose and palette and balance dozens of time-sensitive factors such as when to harvest, how long to ferment and age and when to bottle. At the end of all that, all you have to do uncork the bottle, pour into your favorite wine glass and enjoy - cheers!

Wine Beverage - From Grapevine to Wine Glass

Types of Wines
Wine is a well-known and worldwide beverage with every wine drinker having his or her own personal favourite types of wines that they like to drink.

America Wine Regions
America wine regions are situated in many states both east and west coast and also in areas such as Washington state, which is somewhat unexpected considering the less than optimal climate

Canada Wine Regions
Out of all the wine regions of Canada, the majority of the countries winemaking is associated with British Columbia although wine is also produced in all of the Canadian provinces

French Wine Regions
There are several French wine growing regions with over two million acres of vineyards. In a typical year, some seven to eight million bottles of wine are produced from French wine regions

Italian Wine Regions
Italian wine regions produce some of the best varieties of wine available, which goes some way to explaining the fact that Italy is among the biggest exporters of wine in the world

Amateur Wine Making
Although professional wine makers still imbue their work with passion and skill, amateur wine making, with the help of modern technology, can often approach similar results

Wine Drinking Tips
To fully appreciate and enjoy a glass of wine, there are certain processes that should be followed. Here are some wine drinking tips that can make all the difference to your wine experience

Wine and Beer
Understanding wine and beer is an advanced course offered by Cornell University that covers various topics from the history of viticulture thru to lectures on chemistry, color and tasting methods

Wine Gift Basket Ideas
A wine gift basket typically contains one or two bottles of wine together with a combination of cheese, chocolate, fruit or some other type of gourmet food, although the food is optional

Wall Mount Wine Storage Racks
The worst thing you can do for wine bottles is to arrange them upright on a shelf. Wall mount wine storage racks are ideal since they store the bottles horizontally