Vineyards can be planted in both the Northern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere between latitudes of 30 and 50 degrees.
There are a number of key factors that significantly influence vines and grape-growing and, thus, the final wine. These can be identified within the French term terroir, which essentially identifies climate, altitude and soil.
This includes variables such as sunlight hours, rainfall and temperature, all of which can determine which varieties of grapes are grown. Varying annual weather conditions can affect the quality/style of a wine and comprise the vintage of the wine.
If grapes are growing in a cool or marginal climate, vineyards will ideally be planted on south-facing slopes to try and ensure successful ripening. Conversely, if the climate is hot, vines are planted on slopes that protect the vines from the sun’s rays.
This influences fertility, vigour, minerality and overall plant health with different grapes also preferring different soils, such as chalk, loam, sand and gravel.