Definition - What does Aspect mean?
Aspect is used to describe the geographical topography of a vineyard, specifically the land and crop’s sloping direction facing the North, South, East or West. The slope of the land and the direction of the crops directly influences the sunlight exposure, temperature, wind conditions and seasonal changes. The degree of the slope also has influence as the deeper the degree (more than 5% slope) the more effect it has on the vine growth and conditions.
WineFrog explains Aspect
To determine which aspect will be the most beneficial for vineyards, the geographical region/hemisphere and climate are taken into consideration first. In colder climates that have temperate summers and a lower number of growing days, northern slopes are not encouraged and southern (S, SW, SE) slopes are preferred. This is because southern aspects are warmer and can help maintain higher sun exposure and protect crops during harsher winters which can be challenging for regions in the northern hemispheres. Likewise, in warmer climates and regions in the southern hemisphere may use a northern facing slope to decrease heat and lower high sun exposure. Eastern aspects are also beneficial to crops as they receive the most morning sunlight and dry faster (from rain or snow fall) than western slopes preventing disease of the vine. Western facing aspects are warmer in the afternoon and can help maintain vines that are located near high winds or coastal climates.