Wine Word of the Week: Microclimate

By Kori ~ July 5th, 2011.

This week’s Wine Word of the Week is microclimate.

Official definition from Jancis Robinson’s The Oxford Companion to Wine:
Microclimate is a widely misused term meaning strictly the climate within a defined and usually very restricted space or position. In viticulture, it might be at specified positions between rows of vines, or distances above the ground.

Common use of the term microclimate to describe the climate of a vineyard site, hillside, or valley is clearly wrong. ….

Canopy microclimate is that within and immediately surrounding the vine canopy, or green parts of the vine. ….

Microclimate is potentially influenced by management practices, such as vine trellising, vine training, and trimming; vine vigor and the factors affecting it; and soil management and mulching. ….

Layman’s terms from Kori:
Microclimate, as it pertains to the grapevine, is the environment within and directly surrounding the vine canopy.

Filed under: Wine Word of the Week

Reader's Comments

  1. George Becker | July 5th, 2011 at 10:05 am

    So what word describes the unique climate surrounding a hillside vineyard half way up a box canyon that receives cool afternoon breezes and sunshine that hits at ninety degrees at noon at midsummer?.

  2. Kori | July 5th, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    That would be mesoclimate. It’s my Wine Word of the Week for next week. Cheers!

  3. patricia thrasher | July 5th, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    which wine would be good with grilled chicken and greek salad

  4. ONX Wine | July 6th, 2011 at 6:06 am

    Can’t wait to hear about mesoclimate as that should apply to our Templeton Gap area.

  5. Kori | July 6th, 2011 at 11:48 am

    There are many options to enjoy with grilled chicken and Greek salad. I would most likely select a white wine, possibly a Sauvignon Blanc, a dry Riesling, or a Gruner Veltliner. But the most important thing is to drink what you like, so if you prefer other wines, by all means try them with this pairing. Also, you might enjoy some of the posts in our Challenging Wine Pairing series:

    Thanks. Hope you find the explanation of mesoclimate next week interesting.