Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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drought, a severe and prolonged deficit of rainfall, compared with that normally received. Its implications for viticulture depend on the region and its normal climate. In cool and wet viticultural regions, drought years often produce the best vintages, especially of red wines. This is because excessive vegetative growth, or excess vigour, is arrested; yields are limited; berry size remains small with the purported benefits of a high ratio of the colour- and flavour-containing skin to juice; and sunshine and warmth are greater than average. Such effects are well known in Europe and New Zealand.