Hillside Vineyards

Appears in
Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Even in Ancient rome it was said Bacchus amat colles, or bacchus loves the hills, suggesting that hillside vineyards have long been regarded as a source of high-quality wine.

This is partly because hillside soils are typically shallow, so that vineyard vigour is relatively low, a factor commonly associated with high wine quality. Over millions of years soil tends to be washed down the hillsides and accumulates on the valley floors. Vines planted there will typically be more vigorous as the soils are deeper and the roots will be able to reach more water and nutrients.