For long, Mountain Wines formed an ampelographic anomaly. The vines are hardy plants that usually do not find favorable terrain above 600 to 700 meters. However winemakers of mountain regions have been able to select vines and adapt them for quite some times . Vineyards are found in the mountainous areas of several countries like France , Switzerland, Italy, Argentina, Chile , the United States but also in many other countries with mountain areas.
Nowadays, there is no longer altitude statutory limit , the latter being determined by climatic and geographical conditions of each region. Mountain regions had tendency not to claim this specificity, while their qualities are now real.
It is now recognized that wine is kept better in higher altitude gaining in quality. There are numerous reasons but it certainly seems that the vinification and aging in altitude , so at a lower atmospheric pressure , provide wine with favorable evolution conditions.
To measure the influence of altitude on the bouquet, wine stocks of the same production and international sources were divided into three stocks and stored from fifteen months to seventeen years at three elevations : in the valley, at 1,500 meters and at 2,300 meters in Val Thorens. Tasting confirmed the benefits of altitude on all wines , making them denser , longer and more harmonious.
They age better and faster and the characteristics of their land of origin were amplified , certainly due to the combination of three elements :
– An average humidity of 13% at high altitude, against 70% in the valley rates.
– Reduced atmospheric pressure
– A lower rate of oxygenation .
Argentine vineyards are overwhelmingly between 800 and 1700 meters. In some areas there are vineyards up to 2,500 meters. Viticulture in Cape Verde is one of the closest to the equator in the northern hemisphere. Most of the vineyards are located in the center of the island of Fogo, in the caldera of Pico do Fogo , the highest point of Cape Verde with 2,829 meters. France is the richest and most diverse country with several wine regions such as mountainous vineyards in Savoy, Diois , Hautes-Alpes , Savoie , Haute-Savoie , Vercors and Drôme among others. In Italy, the Aosta Valley is divided into seven geographical sub-appellations.
Sion Vineyard or vineyard of Valais is the largest vineyard in Switzerland with more than 5300 hectares of vines. More than 50 different varieties are grown at an altitude ranging from 450 to 800 meters, with the exception of vineyards Visperterminen located above 1,000 meters. The hard work of its wineries combined with a favorable microclimate and a restrictive cantonal legislation allow Valais wines to be regularly distinguished in major international competitions . Among the mountain wines most recommended , Petite Arvine and Merlot wines produced by Flaction wineries.