In accordance with official data presented by Office International de la Vigne et du Vin (OIV), France, in 1998 vineyards occupied almost 8 mln hectares of world dry land. Surely it's not exact data as far as not every vineyard is open to present exact data to monitoring and statistical authorities.
In spite of the fact that new vineyards are laying permanently in such new winemaking countries as the USA, Australia, Chile, China and India, world-famous wine producers put out their vineyards from operation, as a result the total area of vineyards in the world have been reduced by 13% since 1988. Meanwhile world production of wines is reducing slowly (by 6% for the same period of time).
Nature is the only one who is responsible for grapegrowing, a man is a master in a winery.
Winemaking is a process during which a number of decisions should be taken by the wine-maker, decisions dictated by the sort and state of grapes as well as by the style of wine to which the heart of a wine-maker belongs (sometimes both of these factors enter into antagonism).
Possibly the most important decision in the winemaking process is when the harvest should be started. During those weeks close to the general period of harvest, the following factors should be taken into consideration: sugar and acids content in grapes, its general state and weather forecast. If grapes have not ripened enough, and meteorologists are forecasting rains for the nearest days, a wine-maker has two alternatives: to leave bunches on vine until their full ripening hoping that warm and dry weather will return soon, - or act without any risks. Some sorts of grapes are more sensitive to the time of harvest starting as compared to the others. For example, such sorts of grapes as Syrah and Merlot, when being kept on vine more than required lose their freshness, whereas Cabernet Sauvignon is more stable as for the several days of delay. White sorts of wine are more tolerant to such neighbors as several slightly rot grapes as compared to the black sorts which are changing its color very fast, and the wine takes the taste of à mold.
The time when the harvest starts is also very important for winemaking. If we are talking about regions with hot climate, the harvest begins either during nights (cars with headlights on are required in such cases), or during very early morning hours in order to deliver grapes to the winery as cold as possible. There were cases when grapes had been kept in trucks bodies, sometimes crushed, becoming more and more aged and reaching the winery when initial freshness and taste had been lost. Modern wine makers who care about the quality of the wine will insist the grapes are delivered not-overheated and in small lots, as a rule in small plastic boxes placed one above the other in which brunches of grapes remain non damaged (what is practically impossible when grapes are gathered by mechanisms which shake off the bunches from the vine).
Modern wine-makers still keep secrets of winemaking which they have been inherited from their known worldwide predecessors and which they were very proud of.