How to Determine a Good Vintage


The quality of a wine’s vintage begins with the conditions the grapes went through while growing in the vineyard. The best wine comes from the best grapes. Different kinds of grapes thrive in different climates. To get a good vintage, the wine maker must determine what type of grape grows best in each region. Here in Bryan Texas, the Black Spanish or Lenoir grape, used to produce varieties of Port, thrives in a hot, dryer climate. This is why Messina Hof chose to grow this variety.

To make a good wine the grapes must be harvested while they have a good balance of acidity and sugar levels. Giving the grape vines the weather conditions best suited for the variety, soil that is enriched with the right minerals, and the right kinds of fertilization can all contribute to a good grape that can be used for that vintage. The harvester must also keep track of the weather conditions in order to determine to wait for a late harvest or to harvest early.

Once a good harvest is produced, the winemaker has the best chance of turning the grapes into a good vintage wine. From then on the taste of the wine is based on how it is stored, the length of fermentation time and the care that is put into each barrel. If all the weather conditions are right and the wine was properly fermented, the vintage for a particular wine will be exceptional.