We asked ourselves how water - from the river, from the lake, from the sea - influences the cultivation of the vine. Why yes: water affects wine more than you might think.
Here is a small guide to orient yourself among river, lake and sea wines.
Let's start with the rivers, because they are truly elements that sculpt the oenological maps of the territories . Just think of the Loire or the Rhone and their legendary wine landscapes. Or, in Italy, to the sediments transported by the Tiber which contributed to determining the Torgiano DOCG. Rivers regulate humidity and temperature, as well as aiding soil drainage.
The lake maintains the mild climate , creating the best conditions for the growth of the vine. This happens both in hot regions, where the lake keeps it cooler than the surrounding area, and in colder areas, where the lake's action is instead to conserve heat.
If the lakes are volcanic , then, the wines of that territory acquire peculiar characteristics, due to the specificity of the soil. Here are complex aromas, savory and mineral flavours, marked acidity ...
Even the lakes of glacial origin, surrounded by hills formed by debris dragged downstream, have very rich soil , perfect for growing vines.
The sea also mitigates the climate , reducing temperature changes.
Its breeze then, caressing the vines, removes humidity , protecting against fungal infections and allowing the grapes to remain healthier.
The scents of the sea and the saltiness give the wines a saline character and mineral notes that enhance their personality. In the case of vineyards particularly close to the sea, the water is literally sprayed onto the vines by the wind, thus marking the aromatic bouquet of the grapes. Think of zibibbo, when it is grown near the sea, and how its typical aromaticity is compensated by the deep iodine notes.
In its strength and immensity, the influence of the sea on wine can go far beyond the reference territory , influencing even areas far from the coast.
There are also those who have attempted to make sparkling wine on the seabed , off the coast of Portofino. After all, both, the sea and the wine, are an infinite source of inspiration for dreamers.