Global Warming? Still Arguable! Or is it?
Climate change is progressing at an alarming pace. The arctic sea ice is melting causing coastal erosion and flooding; China experienced the coldest winter in 30 years; the heat waves in Australia triggered massive fires; Jerusalem, that hardly ever has any snow, received 8 inches last winter; this week Death Valley is expected to experience a world record temperature of 129 degrees. Are these individual episodes or do they reveal a trend? Actually, why go so far as the Judean Hills of Jerusalem or the arctic seas of Alaska when you can find these extreme weather patterns right here at home. Within one week in June of 2013 we experienced in our vineyards a temperature fluctuation of 40 degrees. On June 26, the maximum temperature in our vineyard was 68 degrees with a precipitation of over ½ in and on June 29, it was 108 degrees. The big question is whether these erratic weather patterns are going to last another week….. another month….. or will they be a way of life for the future?
An even more important question is how these “erratic weather patterns” are going to affect the grapes that we produce? And this is anyone’s guess! All we can do is set up the defenses to counteract the potential damage of the extreme hot weather. Right now my entire crew is involved in providing more shade to the clusters by moving the shoots away from the trunk of the vine, allowing them to droop over the clusters. On hot afternoons we have two tractors spraying water on the vines creating a swamp cooler effect protecting the fruit from getting sun-burned. Live and learn!
A duet to challenge your senses…… This month’s Gallery Collection Club release is one bottle each of our 2009 Encontro and 2008 Proprietor’s Blend. I purposely chose these two wines which are on different ends of the spectrum. The 2009 Encontro is a crisp and playful wine with loads of black cherry. Take a sip and you will think you are biting into a black cherry pie. The 2008 Proprietor’s Blend is a more serious wine stylistically falling almost in the middle between a new world and old world wine. The 2008 is probably the best one of the 7 vintages of Proprietor’s Blend wines that we released so far.
Learn from the above: Stay in the shade and use a mister to stay cool. Enjoy the Summer!