Estate manager Giovanni Capuanno assess the soil quality at Tenuta Vallocaia Estate manager Giovanni Capuanno assess the soil quality at Tenuta Vallocaia

How a winemaker produces a top-notch wine

A successful winemaker must know every detail of his vineyard. We reveal the most important factors for extracting a really good wine from grapes.

Climate and location

To find out where wine can be made, just look at a globe: the ideal climatic conditions for cultivating grapes are found between 30 and 50 degrees latitude both north and south of the equator. The warmer the region, the earlier the vines awaken from their winter sleep and begin to grow. Grape ripeness and harvest time also shift correspondingly: in warmer climes, such as southern Italy, the harvest usually begins earlier. Sunlight, rainfall and dry spells are determining factors, especially in the last ripening phase. The winemaker must constantly observe his vineyards to determine the perfect moment for harvest. But when is the perfect moment? When the grapes have a fully developed aroma and demonstrate sufficient sugar and acidity. The latter is important to ensure the wine doesn’t turn out flat. When choosing where to plant his vines, the winemaker must base his decision on, among other things, sunlight. If there is water nearby, the vines will also benefit from the warmth caused by the reflection off the water’s surface. Wind also plays an important role: it dries the morning dew off the grape skins and regulates the vineyard temperature in summer.

Grape varieties

When choosing grape varieties for his vineyard, the winemaker must consider various factors, such as regional climate conditions, the site’s soil quality, as well as the grape’s requirements. Indigenous grape varieties are native and are almost exclusively found in a specific region. For example, Cannonau and Vermentino come from Sardinia, Teroldego from Trentino and Barbera from Piedmont. Grape variety strongly influences the aroma of the wine. Correspondingly, the winemaker must think ahead and carefully make his choice – no mean feat!

«The soil gives the vines life. It provides water and important nutrients.»

Evaluating soil quality at the vineyard is an important key to success for wine productionEvaluating soil quality at the vineyard is an important key to success for wine production


Our wine recommendations


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    2017
    62 % Nero d'Avola, 38 % Perricone

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