Lower Alcohol Wines

The warming climate and the rise of mean temperatures during the growth season of grapes, which has been evident in these two last decades, has caused the rise in sugar content and the decrease in acidity of musts. This has already become an issue winemakers are aware of and some are trying to compensate for, and if the trend continues in the years and decades to come, more attention will continue to be put on the matter.  There are a few different approaches professional winemakers have used to compensate for higher sugars and lower acids in grapes at harvest, and they are worth exploring and learning about for home winemakers as well. Introduction to the Issue Actual sugar content (glucose and fructose) in musts at maturity can easily be measured by °Brix; acidity is caused mainly by the presence in musts of tartaric acid and malic acid, commonly called titratable acidity, or TA, and expressed as tartaric acid. Both sugar content and acidity are influenced by temperature; higher temperatures during berry maturation cause the increase of photosynthesis (and of sugar