Designation for vineyards with a certain gradient or Tilt which mostly produce better quality wines due to several causes. The great advantage of slopes especially in viticulture was recognized early on. in the antique Rome, there was the winged word "Bacchus amat colles" ( Bacchus loves the hills). In general, vineyards with 5 to 20% (~ 12 °) slope are considered hillside and above as steep Slope or steep slope. In Germany, around 60% of the vineyards are laid out on slopes or steep slopes. To the steepest positions counting the world Dézaley (Vaud Switzerland), as well as locations in the growing areas Moselle (Germany) and Wachau (Austria) with up to 100% inclination (45 °). This results in a much more intense solar irradiation, most with a south-facing steep slope. Of course, play too soil type and climate a significant role. In such vineyards come often Monorackbahnen (Single rail cog railways) are used.
When creating vineyards are both the inclination (inclination) and the slope direction with respect to the exposition (Sunlight) for the best possible alignment of the Rows of vines of great importance. The maximum heat emission takes place at an angle of incidence of 90 °, which is achieved only in a few steep slopes. A southward orientation is a great advantage, especially in cooler climates. Slopes provide optimal thermal, because the cold air currents fall down the slope at night, where they are heated from the morning and wander back up during the day. This cycle is mainly related to the production of quality white wines acidification important. The tops of hills are also planted with trees to curb the excessive influx of cold air, which is used in Germany, Austria and France.
Slopes are also mostly available frost protected, because the cold air flows into deeper areas. This also allows viticulture in higher and cooler climates. Another advantage is the flatness. Disadvantages can be a stronger one erosion of the soil and a more elaborate vineyard cultivation, because with very steep and narrow terraced layers a machining is simply no longer possible. For very steep slopes, the application of terraces respectively. In Italian, slopes are called Colli (Hill, also called Colline or Sori named) and in France as Côte (also Côtes or Coteaux), which often appears on the label. With more than 26% slope in Austria, a wine from such locations as Bergwein be designated. See regarding vineyard classification below Grand Cru and Weinbauwürdigkeit,