How important is sunlight to a vineyard? Without light, plants are unable to photosynthesize and they die, but beyond this, sunlight is one of the most important factors in growing grapes that have the right amount of glucose and fruit flavours. More sunlight = more flavour. It is also important to balance the right levels of sunlight with helpful ‘cooling effects’ such as fogs and cooling breezes (often from the ocean), to make sure that grapes retain their acidity while they are developing ripe, fruity characteristics. Acidity keeps the structure in the grapes and prevents the them from becoming too fruity or even too sweet. Like real estate, vineyards that face the right direction in relation to the sun, are more desirable. This is because those vineyards produce fruit with more flavours, basically. The right direction for sunlight, is always towards the equator, wherever you are in the world. In the Southern hemisphere, the best direction for good vineyards is north facing. In the Northern hemisphere, the ideal direction is south facing. Vineyards that are planted on slopes, are closer to the sun and often have helpful, cooling breezes, which is ideal. Grapes love that! Fun fact – the sun’s energy is most concentrated in the middle of the slope, compared to the top or the bottom of the slope.