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How Does New England’s Climate Affect the Wine Produced Here?

 

How Does New England’s Climate Affect the Wine Produced Here?

Posted by Dawn in On the Vine Newsletter

We love New England. The area is known for its spectacular fall foliage and the dramatic change of seasons. We’re grateful to call this part of the world home. At Jonathan Edwards Winery, we are open year-round for locals and people traveling to the New England area looking to try our wines. As such, we often get questions about how the local weather affects the wine that’s produced in the area. The short answer is that the final taste of a wine is a combination of the production techniques used and the natural environment in which it’s grown. 

Let’s take a closer look at how different climates affect winemaking and the types of wines that are grown in New England.

What Affects the Taste of Wine?

The type of grape used has a large effect on factors such as flavor, color, and acidity. However, climate and soil type can also determine the taste of the wine.

There are three types of climate in which wine can be produced: hot, moderate, and cool. In warmer climates, ripening happens much faster, whereas, in cooler climates, grapes ripen slower, have lower sugar levels, and a higher level of acidity.

Climate can determine the type of grapes that are used for wine production, and unique and complex flavors are born from additional factors such as soil type.

Growing Grapes for Wine in Connecticut

Wine has been produced in Connecticut since 1975. Since then, the state has become home to over 50 wineries, made possible by the 1978 Connecticut Farm Winery Act.

Connecticut has two different American Viticultural Areas or AVAs.  The Western Connecticut Highlands AVA and Southeastern New England AVA. Each AVA has different soil and growing seasons, which allows for a diverse variety of wines to be produced.

Western Connecticut Highlands AVA covers more than 1,000,000 acres. Its soils are made up of metamorphic rock, shale, and basalt.

Grapes that are grown in the Western Connecticut Highlands AVA (Fairfield, New Haven, Hartford Counties) include: 

  • Cabernet Franc
  • Chardonnay
  • Merlot
  • Pinot Noir
  • Seyval Blanc
  • Vidal Blanc

The Southeastern New England AVA is elevated and has a climate similar to the New York Finger Lakes region. The Southeastern New England AVA is known for its sweeter wines, such as Riesling. Much of the soil in the area is million years old, making it an ideal growing space for sweet wine.

Some of the grapes that are grown in the Southeastern New England AVA (Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island) include:

  • Albariño
  • Cabernet Franc
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Cayuga
  • Chancellor
  • Chardonnay
  • Gewurtztraminer
  • Merlot
  • Pinot Gris
  • Pinot Noir
  • Riesling
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Seyval Blanc
  • Vidal Blanc
  • Vignoles

Producing internationally beloved wine in the New England area has created a boom in natural wine worldwide. Natural wine is made with limited intervention during the fermentation process and is soaring in popularity. 

For more information about our wine selection and our Napa-style approach to winemaking at the Jonathan Edwards Winery, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team today! Schedule a group reservation or a tasting and tour! We are open year-round in picturesque Stonington, Connecticut — just an hour outside of Hartford, CT, and less than 2 hours from Boston. 

05 May 2021 no comments

 

 

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