Warming Wine

Do I need to worry about THIS?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m as fearful of the next person of rising ocean levels, skin cancer, melting ice caps and the like. But I’m having a problem getting worried about Sonoma and Napa Valleys being too hot in 100 years to produce good wine. Let’s face it, unless I really cut back on some of my vices and medical technology leaps forward I’m not going to have to worry about Global Warming’s affect on North American wine regions.

The study being touted here suggests that global warming will increase the number of 95+ degree days during the year, thereby making those places currently growing premium grapes unsuitable for making premium wine. The winners, according to the study, are said to be the New Englanders where temperatures will still be suitable for grape growing.

I think I understand why those who are concerned with Global Warming shout so loudly. It’s because most people are like me. It’s so difficult to wrap your arms around a problem that is unlikely to really take hold in our lifetime that we tend to discount it. Since this is not a political blog, I think we’ll stop right there.


5 Responses

  1. John - July 10, 2006

    So the chards, (and corn, wheat, beans, fruits, etc., etc., etc.) start coming from more northern climes, right? Our g-g-g-g-great grand-children will be albe to get a better tan in October than we now can in September. They can sleep at night with their windows open in November, maybe later. They won’t have to shovel snow in January. Gee, sounds inviting.
    I kinda like what George Carlin said (paraphrasing); “you tell me, you walk over to the thermostat and crank it up one single degree, lets make it two degrees. Tell me, can you really, REALLY freakin’ tell the difference?” Gimmie a break.

  2. Mark - July 11, 2006

    We’re also overdue for a new ice age and I’m alot more concerned about a 50 degree drop in average temperature than an average increase of 3 or 4 degrees.

  3. Golly - July 11, 2006

    There was an interesting debate about wine and climate change on ‘The Food Programme’ on Radio 4 recently. You can hear it here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/factual/foodprogramme_20060611.shtml
    The Torres family are taking it pretty seriously and investing on a long term strategy assuming Spain will not be a viable wine producing country too much longer.

  4. JohnLopresti - July 12, 2006

    There is a viticulture writer on the front page of the New York Times paper published in Sonoma County, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. I tried to find the science committee report on the Purdue professor’s websites but there are many. After reading the regular news article yesterday my back began to remind me exactly how heavy an oak brandy barrel is. Did you ever ‘turn’ brandy? By the end of the day that 350 lbs seems like 400 lbs, and you only have to spin it a quarter turn on the racks; or, that is how we did it. Zin brandy may be just the ticket for the warm APA in north Alexander Valley.
    The PD article from viticulturist point of view: http://www1.pressdemocrat.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060711/NEWS/60711001/1033/NEWS01

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