What Makes Wines Taste Different?

20110729-114946.jpgOr put another way – Why is this Merlot $45 and this other Merlot $13?

I get asked this a lot. There’s a lot of reasons for different prices relating to production techniques and costs of equipment, labour, and land but there is also something unique about having a plot of land that is just, well, special. And because there is only one plot of land like it, then the wine is that much more special because of it.

I saw this driving home one day last year and I hoped I’d be able to see it again. This is the vineyards of See Ya Later Ranch. It is a special vineyard for a number of reasons. It is high up there. Is is properly sloped for good air drainage. It is entirely planted on glacial till for excellent water drainage. It is the largest Gewurztraminer vineyard in North America. And is has a stunning view when you’re having lunch on the deck.

But at this time of day, when Hawthorn Mountain to the right of the photo casts a shadow over the other vineyards in the valley below, these vineyards at See Ya Later Ranch are still getting direct sunlight. That is a huge advantage for the grapes that get that direct sunlight. That’s where the sugar comes from. More sunlight, more sugar, riper grapes, better and more consistent wine.

Next time to have some SYL Gew, say thanks for that extra bit of sun.