Monday, 29 December 2014

Pinot Noir and Global Warming

There's a lot of talk in the press from various angles about the problems of pinot noir and global warming, both in the Telegraph and in Slate. What's curious is that both articles have appeared at almost the same time, yet both discuss different areas of the world and even have different experts cited. Coincidence, or some sort of co-ordinated global coverage?

The Slate article talks about the California drought that is getting people to stop growing pinot noir, and talking about how winemakers are moving to Oregon to grow more pinot noir, but the California drought has differing opinions about whether climate change is involved (and the same level of drought hasn't hit other southern states). Furthermore, the rise of planting pinot noir in Oregon isn't because of climate change elsewhere, it's because there's been a massive growing demand for pinot noir wines that has forced prices up to the point that it's worth growing in Oregon.

The Telegraph article has a professor of sustainability talking about how grapes are maturing earlier, and losing colour. But if you read the views of the people at Domaine Meo-Camuzet, a top quality Burgundy producer they say the following in 2006:-

The main explanation for the very early arrival of our grape harvests over the last 15 years (rarely beginning or taking place in October) may be attributed to changes in farming practices. With the possible exceptions of 1997 (small crop, ideal harvesting weather, little sorting) and 2003 (for obvious reasons), none of the recent vintages would have had the same character or even the same quality if these practices had been the same as 30 years ago. In those days, as indeed throughout history, nature was left to its own devices. If she bequeathed you an excessive crop which, once gathered in, had a titre of no more than 10°, then that was in the “nature” of things!

So, farming practises changed which meant grapes matured more quickly. Not climate change.

And regarding the scientist who says that we'll be growing raisins by 2080, that is pure bollocks. Not even the IPCC are predicting a rise of 7-8 degrees that would take us into raisin temperature. Their worst case is that we have temperatures like Bordeaux by 2100.


Rich Tee said...

There is no doubt that these things are coordinated behind the scenes.

Rudi Dutschke referred to this as the "long march through the institutions". Political activists do not try to change people's opinions directly. Instead, they work their way into positions of influence in society (which also allows them to earn a good living at the same time).

Similar to the concept of "sleeper cells" in the world of espionage.

Mark Wadsworth said...

That's a nice compare and contrast exercise.