What is viticulture? Viticulture is the scientific study of grapevines and vineyards. Basically horticulture specialized for grapes.
What are varietals? Varietals are the different types of grapes that make the wines we all enjoy so much. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon; these are all different varietals. Each bears different fruit that makes a unique wine. I don’t think anyone knows for sure how many different varietals there are in the world, but the number is well into the thousands. Most (if not all) varietals are of the Vitis vinifera species of grape vine, as this species creates the fruit best suited for wine making.
What are clones? In modern viticulture clones refer to sub-types of varietals. Pinot Noir, for instance, is just one varietal, but there are many different “clones” of Pinot Noir, such as Calera, 115, 777 and Swan to name a few. Clones are selected because they produced fruit or growth characteristics that differ from other clones of the same varietal. This can make for a wide difference in flavors in just a single varietal, and lots of confusion in the cellar!
So that’s it for part one of “from the vineyard.” I’ll be back later to answer more questions as they pop up. Our first orders will be shipping out Tuesday so look forward to receiving your wine on Wednesday, and everyone have a happy Thanksgiving!