Stepping into August we start to prepare ourselves for a windy month ahead.
Wind has many benefits as well as downfalls when it comes to the effect it has on vineyards as well as the quality of wine in your glass. Wind is one of the many elements that form part of the terroir of a vineyard. It is one of the main factors considered when planting a new vine along with the orientation of the sun and other geographical considerations.
In warmer climatic areas wind is often referred to as a cool ocean breeze which is essential to wine quality. The cooling effect slows down the ripening process which then allows the grape to produce more flavour compounds.
In rainy, wet or humid areas wind is essential to increase the airflow within the canopy thus eliminating or minimizing rot or fungal infections.
In spring wind can help reduce frost damage.
The strong South-easterly wind can cause damage to the vines, breaking shoots, causing poor fruit set and berry fertilisation. Leaves being blown off or damaged causes a reduction in the ability for the vine to photosynthesise thus affecting fruit quality as well as vine cold hardiness.
So with your next glass of wine make sure to taste the wind.