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Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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desert, an arid, treeless region. True deserts are not conducive to growing grapes for wine, even where irrigation water is available. Low humidity and extreme temperature ranges place stresses on the vine which usually preclude good grape quality. With irrigation they can still be very suitable for table grapes, especially early-maturing varieties, and for drying grapes, but wine grapes seldom rise above mediocre quality. See climate and wine quality.

Some near-desert regions used extensively for viticulture include the san joaquin valley of California; the southern reaches of the Okanagan Valley in british columbia; argentina’s Mendoza Region; the Bekaa Valley of lebanon; parts of israel; azerbaijan on the west coast of the Caspian sea; parts of northern china; the lower Murray Valley of south australia and victoria; and the Little Karoo of south africa.