Elevating Your Palate: Exploring the Impact of Altitude on Wine

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Altitude, a term often tossed around in the world of wine, holds significance that goes beyond its mention. At Raravina, we're here to demystify the importance of altitude, delving into how it influences the intricate dance of flavours and aromas in your wine. Let's explore the heights and lows of wine and understand why altitude matters.


The Influence of Altitude on Grapes

Vineyards sprawl across landscapes, from sea level to mountain peaks, and this varied elevation imparts distinct characteristics to the wines they produce. Altitude, a silent maestro, orchestrates a symphony of flavours, aromas, and overall quality in grapes, shaping the wine that graces your glass.

  1. Climate: 

As you ascend to higher altitudes, the climate cools, extending the grape-growing season. This prolonged ripening period allows for the development of intricate flavours and nuanced aromas, resulting in wines with heightened character and depth.

  1. Sun Exposure:

Higher altitudes mean more direct sunlight for grapes. While this enhances sugar production and flavour ripening, it prompts a defence mechanism in 

grapes—thicker skins. These thicker skins contribute to wines with intensified colour, robust structure, and well-defined tannins.

  1. Acidity:

Cool temperatures at lofty heights help grapes retain higher acidity. This natural acidity imparts balance and freshness to wines, creating a lively and vibrant palate experience.

 

What Altitude Means for Your Wine

Wines crafted from grapes grown at different altitudes showcase unique traits, providing a diverse array of options for discerning palates:

 

Wines from Higher Altitudes:

- Climate: Cooler temperatures lead to longer ripening, enhancing complexity and preserving acidity.

- Flavour Profile: Expect vibrant fruit flavours, floral notes, and secondary characteristics like herbs, minerality, and spice.

- Structure and Elegance: Higher acidity and thicker skins result in wines with excellent structure, integrated tannins, and ageing potential.

- Balanced Alcohol: Gradual sugar accumulation yields fuller flavours without elevated alcohol levels.

 

Wines from Lower Altitudes:

- Climate: Warmer temperatures result in riper grapes with higher sugar levels.

- Flavour Profile: Fruit-forward wines with pronounced flavours of berries, stone fruits, and tropical notes.

- Body and Alcohol: Fuller-bodied wines with higher alcohol content due to sugar accumulation.

- Softer Acidity: Lower acidity provides a rounder and smoother mouthfeel.

 

Remember, it's not about one altitude being "better" than the other; they're simply different. The next time you savour a glass, consider the journey it undertook, not just across the globe, but also the heights it scaled. Altitude in winemaking is a testament to the beauty and complexity of the wine world, shaping our favourite wines in subtle yet significant ways.

Keep exploring the world of wine with Raravina, where every bottle has a story, and every sip is a taste of that story. Check out a few in our shop and stay Nosey!