Tackling the 2019 MW Exam Part 2: Discuss the role of the following factors in the production of high-quality grapes: aspect, vine density and row orientation

It is often said that one can produce bad wine from good grapes but cannot produce good wine from bad grapes. There is little room, if any, for debate when it comes to the importance of viticultural decision-making in producing high-quality wine. From the very beginning of a vines life the decisions taken in the vineyard, from planting to clonal selection, will go some way toward determining the quality of the finished wine. Factors often principally touted amongst fact sheets are aspect (direction) vine density and row orientation. But exactly what role do these factors play when it comes to producing high-quality grapes …

Tackling the 2019 MW Exam Part 1: Are yield restrictions necessary to produce high-quality wine?

Fruit thinning, green harvest, restricted yield, whichever name it may go by there are few canards as distinctly pervasive as yield-restriction. Across Europe, the belief that yield restriction is directly correlated with amplified wine 'quality' is so widely held that one can almost predict the nature of questioning at any tasting, visit or seminar. Let's stop for a second; just how accurate is this belief? Is yield restriction really a fundamental requirement of high-quality wine production or is this hypothesis flawed?