Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Going dry...

It just doesn't mean what it used to mean...instead of temperance it now serves an alert to the effects of global warming, and the expected shift in premium wine growing regions.
(Damn! and I just posted on this a few weeks ago!...see
[Global Wine Temp] from Thursday June 1st...)

Today's article on the front page of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat (Tim Tesconi, with material from the Associated Press & L.A. Times) showcases a graphic which is just too scary to believe...unfortunately it isn't linked to the story on their website, so I've included it here...

(click pic to enlarge)

Notice how California is left with just the areas right on the coast, and a few spots up in the Sierra Nevada range. Yikes!

From the article:
"Rising temperatures could transform Wine Country's mild climate into one as sweltering as Tijuana, Mexico, eliminating Sonoma and Napa counties' competitive edge in producing world-class wines.

That's the conclusion of a study released Monday and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.Areas in California suitable for growing premium wine grapes could be reduced by 50 percent -- and possibly as much as 81 percent -- by the end of this century because of global warming."

Not a good sign. Note how Napa is especially hard hit...see anything left there?
Perhaps Napa will later become known for premium wheat & barley used for ultra-pricey micro beers...

"Nick Frey, executive director of the Sonoma County Grape Growers Association, said the Pacific Ocean and its cooling maritime influence are the most critical factors in producing Sonoma County's premium-quality grapes. He said even if there are more hot days in the future, the Pacific Ocean will still be there to cool things down at night, creating the sugar-acid balance essential for fine wine.

"It's the cooling nighttime temperatures and fog from the Pacific Ocean that make Sonoma County such a great wine region," said Frey.The primary change in the weather will be an increase in the frequency of extremely hot days, said Noah Diffenbaugh, a co-author of Monday's report and a scientist in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Purdue University.

Damn, that's what I've been saying for years! Well, at least the portion about the fog & temps being the dominant factor in premium wine regions....
Read the article on the link provided, or pick up a copy of the paper.

Prepare to be very, very scared...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe by the time this happens we will have GMO vines that can produce great wines anywhere, including Death Valley. Perhaps good wine will be synthesised in a lab in China.
Of all the bad things about global warming this news is probably the stupidest.

July 25, 2006 6:11 PM  

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