Appears in
Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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calcium is a major nutrient required for vine growth and is rarely lacking in vineyards. It enhances cell wall structure and contributes to grape skin defence against microbial attack. Calcium is immobile in the plant. It is taken up by roots during the period of rapid growth up to veraison, after which point there is little increase in calcium concentration in the plant.

calcareous rocks come in many forms, including marl, chalk, limestone, marble, and dolomite. (see geology). The presence of calcium minerals in soils increases friability and drainage, especially where such calcareous soils underlie clay. See soil texture and soil and wine quality. In northerly European wine regions such as Burgundy and Champagne, the drainage encouraged by calcium in the soils accounts for some of their suitability for premium viticulture.