Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsWeather

Vintner's take on warming

January 31, 2007

I'D like to point out a couple of things that verify portions of Corie Brown's article on global warming and wine ["A Scorching Future," Jan. 24]. I have been a vintner and winegrower for almost 29 years in Temecula. From 1973 until 1984, the harvest and crush here began in the first three weeks of September. For the next 15 years, harvest began in August -- often the first or second week. Since 1985, we've had only one harvest season begin in September. That's a huge change.

Most years, Temecula Valley viticulture closely tracks with the state's other wine regions. The overriding reason for the earlier harvest is earlier bud break. If the weather begins warming up in February and early March, the vines will start growing, and normal grape development will result in an earlier harvest.

Earlier bud break brings us to a period of normal maturity culminating during warmer months. If the winery decides to give the grapes extended "hang time" for maturity, it does so under weather conditions likely to produce elevated sugar levels easily. Conversely, if the extended "hang time" occurs toward the end of what used to be considered a normal season, the grapes mature at a later date while the weather is turning cool and the angle of the sun is lower in the sky, so high grape sugars are no longer so easy for the vine to achieve as the grapes mature.

PETER POOLE

Temecula

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|