How Weather Affects Your Tasting Experience During Wine Tours
The impact of the weather and the climate is not as completely straightforward as simply nice summer evenings along with anticipated bumper vintages waiting for visitors who partake in a Shoalhaven wine tour. In fact, what the light-hearted questions on the radio regarding our favourite drink seem to ignore is that this will not improve the wine making industry in Australia. Furthermore, soon there will not be many places left in the world that will be able to claim it is premier wine growing country.
With erratic weather such as hurricanes, floods, unseasonal drought and extreme frost, these are the enemies of winemakers and they can severely affect wine production in the UK and around the world.
Winemakers Notice The Tiniest Changes In Weather
What is probably ignored by the occasional wine drinker is very obvious to an attuned winemaker. The smallest changes in the weather can change the taste of their wines. There is a list of past vintages that offers a very unique record of how climatic changes affected these wines. It is this record that has proven to be very troubling for winemakers around the world for many years.
Is It Simply Style And Quality?
Many would say that it is merely a preference in style and quality. Grapes accumulate higher sugar levels when they ferment faster than they are supposed to. They also have the potential of having higher alcohol levels as well.
As the vintages become hotter faster, some elements in the wine such as polyphenols and tannins may not be ready when fermentation occurs. These are the elements that give the wine flavour, and this leads to an even larger dilemma.
Winemakers can choose to harvest the grapes earlier and disregard complexity in favour of a suitable alcohol level, or make wines that have an alcoholic profile that is undrinkable at wine tours and reduce profits.
Record Breaking Weather Is Affecting Global Viability Of Vineyards
As each summer that comes and goes is hotter than the last, the viability of the global wine industry comes into question. From the different varieties of grapes available, to the decreasing water supplies, to fewer vineyards to the ability to create wines in similar styles and quality, every aspect of the industry is being affected by these climatic changes.
This has led many winemakers to take charge of the situation by experimenting with new varieties of grapes. The latest project is being conducted in Santa Cruz, California. It is the hope that new grapes can be bred that will be able to handle the current climate in California and similar climates in the UK. This means the grapes will have to be able to withstand being farmed without irrigation, and also be able to grow in the dry California heat.
These types of projects are very crucial in places like California in the US that has dealt with wildfires that have destroyed hundreds, if not thousands, of hectares across the state that were once flourishing vineyards.
The Shoalhaven and Berry’s climate and ideal soil is still conducive to making sparkling wines. However, as the South Coast’s climate continues to change, variations due to weather changes will become more noticeable in vintages. Australia has been getting hotter faster than the world average for the past 50 years, and most of these warmest years have occurred since 2002. The climate is also changing visitors’ wine tasting experiences during wine tours all along the South Coast of NSW.