Definition - What does Microclimate mean?

Microclimate is the term used to describe a smaller region or geographical location with a special or more specific climate compared to the surrounding region(s). A microclimate may vary according to certain barometric pressure zones, how the sun affects the location, influence of winds, or it may be affected by a large body of water nearby or landmass, such as a mountain range.

WineFrog explains Microclimate

A microclimate is a term used to state that certain climate conditions within a small, more localized region or sub-region is significantly different compared to its surrounding area.

Certain microclimates may influence how and when grapes mature. The microclimate itself may also dictate the varieties of grapes that will thrive in the region. Certain characteristics of these special regions may be influenced by an array of factors: the exposure of the sun, altitude, the direction of the wind, the type of wind which may be cool or warm depending on the land from where it originates. A microclimate may also be affected by a certain barometric pressure zone, which can alter humidity and precipitation. A large body of water such as a sea, river or large lake may also create a special microclimate.

All of these factors influence not only the maturity levels and balance of the grapes, but the terroir as well.

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