Wine Vintages

The vintage is a characteristic of wine that identifies the year its vineyard was harvested. Most bottles of wine contain a year on the label.

The vintage can be used to estimate how long wine should be aged.

The vintage can also be used to estimate the quality and value of wine. Specific regions can experience great or poor weather during the growing season, which affects the yield and quality of wine. If the yield is decreased, two things may happen. First, wine from that region may become rare for that vintage, and its value may go up. Second, vines may produce less fruit, but the fruit gets concentrated nutrients, so the quality may go up - drought years tend to be great vintages.

Southern vs. Northern Hemisphere

The vintage of wine from the Southern Hemisphere is in the Spring. The vintage of wine from the Northern Hemisphere is in the Fall. So, wine from countries in the Southern Hemisphere (such as Argentina, Australia, South Africa, and Chile) are about 6 months older in age than wine from countries in the Northern Hemisphere (such as France, Italy, Spain, United States, and Germany).

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