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More often than not grapes need to be processed soon, as in hours, after they are picked. In fact, a lot of producers are picking their grapes before the sun even rises in the morning to keep the grapes from overheating. They then take the grapes to temperature controlled rooms for processing.

I've never made beer but from what I recall, most of it is made from grains. You can store grains for a much longer time. So, you can ship the grains anywhere you want to to process them.

I think what you're getting at is the fact that vineyards are usually plotted in very specific, even calculated regions. Meanwhile, breweries can be situated virtually anywhere.

Consider the necessary ingredients for making wine and beer. Wine relies almost exclusively on the quality of its grapes. There are a number of factors involved in achieving a high quality yield of grapes including weather conditions, soil composition, viticultural landscape--in other words, terroir. Once harvested, the grapes must undergo a very time-sensitve schedule of pressing, maceration and--depending on the vigneron's practices--aging in barrels. All of these factors significantly limit where a vineyard can be situated.

Beer, on the other hand, is created from malted barley, hops, yeast and water--all of which have a much longer shelf life than wine grapes-- allowing them to be shipped virtually anywhere and still retain nearly all of their contributing value to the final product. In fact, the only thing that may be a potentially limiting factor in a brewery's location is water. Water chemistry is very important to brewing--different cities have different water composition. Consider the cities of Dublin, Ireland and Pilsen, Czechoslovakia. Because of their mineral compositions, dark beer is very hard to produce (without harsh off-flavors) in Pilsen and light lager beer is difficult to produce in Dublin. Yet, in brewing, even water chemistry can be manipulated to some extent by adding certain types of buffering salts to the water--so, brewing location is once again, not as imperative to beer as vineyard location is to wine.

Hope this helps!
Within the USA two things to keep in mind.

Legally you can not label a wine with a location name if your winery is not within or adjacent to the state the grapes are grown in. In other words if your winery is in a state which does not touch California you can not label the wine 'California' even if the grapes come from California. Such wines can only carry 'USA' as the location.

2nd. A lot, and I mean a lot of grapes from California get shipped East to make wine. It's just something not a lot of people talk about.
I think that in countries like Chile or Argentina or other, everything depends...for example in chile the farest vineyard from the shipping area can be maybe 4 hours...but then, there are only few ports prepared for logistics, so definetaly there is no rule for this, besides if the terroir for better wines is near the andes according to certain need to take the supplies there.

Think also that you can make beer anywhere you have the cereal to do it...and you can import that even from other the´s impossible to do that...the grapes do not hold more than a day or two before crushing them and start fermentation.

Originally posted by dermevalsenra:
Could somebody explain to me why wineyards are often located near to the great grape producing centers while breweries are more often seen near the great consuming markets? What is it abou their raw materials, production and transportation costs and issues that result in such location choices?

All previously posts provide valuable answers:
- grapes cannot travel for hours before being processed. In only two to three days, depending on weather conditions, the liquid turns from grapejuice to an alcoolic beverage.
- specific areas only are entitled to produce wine with a specific name. In France for instance we faced a situation where a famous wine producer / distributor was collecting wine from another less popular region and selling the product under a more famous region name (probably by mixing the wines). The company was sentenced to an amazing fine and face enormous discredit.

Let me add another point to complement. Wineyards are often located near to the great grape producing centers because that is where are skills. Because in France (and probably some other areas round the world), wine is the result of a mix of cepage, ground composition, sun exposure, climate and processing, only locals know how to handle the liquid to make it a nectar. Just an exemple : Gaillard, a famous Rhone (Cote Rotie) producer is often regarded as a revolutionary among his pairs who don't necessarily understand what's the value added. Why a revolutionnary? Because he learned wine making in Bourgogne and he introduced the way Bougogne wine makers process wine in the northern rhone valley area (150 miles away) where he had lands. Changing knowledge, change product.

Enjoy responsibly!


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