WHY ARE WE SURPRISED AT CLIMATE CHANGE?
IT SEEMS AS IF every time a new report comes out regarding climate change and wine, the industry immediately goes into shock, denouncing or bemoaning the grim predictions. This falls on the release of a recent report from the University of Maryland painting a dismal picture of the future for France. But in point of fact, climate change has been going on for decades and anyone surprised by this obviously isn’t paying attention to what’s happening around them. In Germany, where their records go back to the 14th century, it’s been documented that the last 3O years have been the hottest on record in the vineyards. In Oregon and Washington – and California to a degree – they all experienced remarkably cold weather in 2O11 as the coastal climate moved inland, perhaps courtesy of higher temperatures inland. Really, any credible vintner has been aware of how the climate is slowly altering the condition of their grapes. They make adjustments, because that’s what winemakers and grape growers have done their entire careers. And while this really isn’t news anymore, so much of the policy-making world continues to ignore it and likely will until it really is too late to do anything about it.