A Great Honeyberry Orchard?
Since we first met our first Honeyberry, given its significant mineral structure and very high tannin content ( greater than a Merlot grape). We have been firm believers of Honeyberry alcohol – be it beer, wine or spirits. You will be happy to hear that we and others are jubilant with what we have produced to date. It has an excellent bouquet, front, middle and back pallet. However as Honeyberry varieties are tweaked for higher Brix for wine. The end product will only become more flavorsome and tastier.
So – ‘What makes a great Honeyberry orchard?’ Look up the word “great” in the dictionary and you will find many definitions. ‘Great’ can mean large, numerous, considerable in a degree of power, excellent, first-rate, notable, influential or distinguished. So to answer what makes a great orchard? We have had to dive into our wine sources and ask them – what makes a great vineyard?
For a vineyard to be great, think – incredible, first rate, notable and distinguished. Those are the vineyards that are great, but what is it that makes them great? Is it the terroir or the vineyard manager and the viticulturist?
So to answer the question: What makes a great vineyard or Honeyberry orchard? The terroir makes a great vineyard. Without great terroir, you could put the best orchard manager and agronomist on the job, and not have a great orchard – you would have a good orchard.
Although terroir is the most important, as it is the foundation for the honeyberries, without the best manager and agronomist, you won’t see the great terroir produce the great honeyberries that make it an excellent orchard. Think about it regarding a great racehorse. Sure you could take an average jockey and have a good finish, but you need a great jockey to have a great finish. So one without the other is good, but one combined with the other is great, and it’s more fun being great.
What is terroir?
To answer this great question, we have used the help of Wine Folly – the web’s essential guide to wine. For those of you with an interested in wine or looking for the simple answers to a modern wine lifestyle. We firmly recommend this fun and informative site. Please click on the terroir picture below to be linked to their site.
Why is it important to Honeyberries? Well, we believe in time Honeyberry varieties, and the importance of local food produce will develop organic Honeyberry growing regions along the lines of the great wine regions of the world.
Terroir is how a particular region’s climate, soils, and terrain affect the taste of wine. Some regions are said to have more ‘terroir’ than others. ‘Terroir’ is one of the most used and least understood wine words. Originally it was associated with earthy notes in many Old World wines. Back in the 1980’s, many of these ‘terroir-driven’ wines were affected by wine faults including cork taint and wild yeast growth (Brettanomyces). Nowadays, terroir is used to describe practically every wine region (e.g. Napa’s Terroir, Bordeaux’s Terroir, Priorat’s Terroir, Washington’s Terroir, etc.) and it has lost its meaning.
So it’s time to know what this overused word means because it’s useful if you are basing a branding story around it.
Four traits of terroir
Wine regions can be divided into two types of climates: cool climate and warm climate. Wine grapes from more temperate climates generate higher sugar levels (which produce higher alcohol wines), whereas cooler climate wine grapes have lower sugar levels and retain more acidity.
For instance – Oakville AVA in Napa Valley receives just a touch more sun and heat year-round than the Médoc in Bordeaux. While both regions produce Cabernet Sauvignon, the Médoc produces Cabernet wines with greater natural acidity because of the weather.
There are hundreds of different types of soil, rock and mineral deposits in the world’s vineyards. Most vineyard soils can be sorted into about 5 to 6 different kinds of soil that affect the flavor of wine. While there is no scientific proof associating the taste of ‘minerality’ to actual minerals in wine, something does happen. It’s almost as though some types of soils act like a tea-bag for water as it passes through to the vine’s roots.
For instance – South Africa is marked by 50 million-year-old granitic soils. Granite is known for its heat retention and the quality of reducing acidity in high acid wine grapes. Writers have described South Africa’s red wines as graphite-like, gravely and like freshly-wetted concrete.
Believe it or not, altitude is an increasingly important focus for quality vineyards. Besides elevation, things like geological features (mountains, valleys, being located far inland), other flora (plants and trees) and large bodies of water affect how wine from a particular region tastes.
For instance – Mendoza, Argentina has vineyards around 4,000 feet above sea level. The high elevation gives Malbec heightened acidity due to cold nighttime temperatures. Within Mendoza, the Uco Valley subregion is famous for its high-quality age-worthy Malbec. The Uco Valley also happens to have the highest vineyard sites in Mendoza.
Traditional winemaking (and vineyard growing) techniques can also contribute to a wine’s terroir. Even though tradition is human interaction, ancient winemaking methods tend to be highly dependent on the region’s climate, soil and terrain.
For Instance – In Madeira, it’s traditional to stop fermentation early and fortify a wine by adding brandy and aging it in barrels outside (under the sun). Giving Madeira its classic roasted and nutty flavor.