Growing Grapes: It’s Tough All Over
After this past winter, it’s tempting to question the efficacy of growing grapes in northern climes. However a quick scan of recent grape growing headlines reveals that several of the world’s major grape growing regions have also felt the wrath of nature recently.
June 2014: Frost decimated Chile’s White Grapes, But Reds Were Hit Over Longer Term
Harpers.co.uk: Chilean winemakers are suffering losses of up to 15% on their red wine volumes caused by vine damage, coming after frost decimated white grapes by up to 55%. Mario Pablo Silva, managing director of Chile’s Casa Silva winery, said the frost had two different impacts – decimating white grapes and damaging vines in longer term leading to lower volumes of red grapes.
June 2014: Bordeaux Producers Philosophical After “Catastrophic” Hail Storm
Harpers.co.uk: Bordeaux wine producers remain philosophical in the face of destructive hail storms, despite some having 85% of grapes destroyed. The storm hit on June 8 where 800 growers saw their crops completely destroyed in the Northern Medoc.
March 2014: Drought Damages Vines as California Wineries Go Thirsty
Bloomberg: Conditions are likely to reduce grape production at Paso Robles vineyards by as much as 25 percent, as growers leave some vines to fend for themselves and almost every vine bears less fruit, four local growers said in interviews on their properties.
October 2013: Freak Grape Razing Hail Crushes Burgundy Winemaker’s Dream
Bloomberg: As grape harvests get under way this week, the damage caused by a single hailstorm that pummeled the area around 4 p.m. on July 23 has ruined the likes of Rouxel and hit sections of France’s 8 billion-euro ($10.9 billion) wine industry hard. Some choice wines from Pommard and Volnay will be in short supply starting next year in a region that already can’t produce enough to meet global demand.
Listen: So God Made a Farmer, by Paul Harvey