Vintage Watch II

Keeping an eye on weather around the globe.


Mentioned in this article


  • Snooth User: Winemaven
    45331 30

    What exactly is the point of all this?
    Wine grapes are grown in micro climes so this incredibly general look at regional weather is of little use in predicting how finished wines will turn out.

    For example, "Sonoma" is hugely diverse weather wise. One can go from a chilly, foggy and wet vineyard to a sweltering hot and dry vineyard in the course of one hour's drive.

    Advances on grape growing and wine making have made "vintages" far less important and even more general than ever before.

    Jul 15, 2013 at 1:01 PM

  • Snooth User: Richard Foxall
    Hand of Snooth
    262583 4,003

    Yep, this is imprecise. However, the fact that Sonoma and California generally have microclimates doesn't mean there's no point. First, if you travel to other wine-growing areas, you find that there's a lot less small scale variation. Secondly, these larger trends do effect the microclimates as well. So, for instance, a warmer vintage in Northern California in general will also mean a warmer vintage in both the coastal foggy areas and the valleys just over the hills, even if there is a 20 degree difference. So, for instance, 2010 was a cool summer except for the heat spikes--and that was true for both Sonoma Coast and DCV, relative to the weather each has typically.

    Advances in wine making have indeed made vintage irrelevant if you drink things that are manipulated, blended, chaptalized, acidulated, and colored with MegaPurple. But if you drink two years of the same vineyard side by side, there will be differences. If you don't do that, then skip this article if you like.

    Thanks, GdP, for posting these interesting observations. Ignore the folks who miss the point--there is one, and I'm enjoying this.

    Jul 15, 2013 at 4:17 PM

  • Snooth User: MrClogg
    1061054 56

    I would like to make an observation of the Mid-Hudson Valley, a wine growing region I believe is often over looked. The weather here has been slightly scatterbrained, with an average precipitation of 3.94" from 2/13 to present. June had record breaking rainfall, at 9.82" by July 1st. Temperatures have varied greatly with a lot of hot steamy days and cooler nights, though night time temps haven't seemed to dip below 73 F. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the season continues. Generally, by this time, things begin to dry out and warm up.
    Whether or not one looks at an entire region, or at a micro-region, what you have done is made the average wine drinker pay more attention to yearly climate, to judge the vintage, for themselves. I like the idea and for someone with a higher interest in wine than the average, I have yet to really take advantage of forecasts to scope out where and when to taste from. Thank you.

    Jul 17, 2013 at 6:58 AM

  • Snooth User: Winemaven
    45331 30

    There may be a point, Foxall however you didn't make it.
    All wines are "manipulated"--even natural wines. Wine doesn't make itself. Citing a laundry list of things like mega purple and chaptalization has little bearing on what I am talking about. Canopy management for example is not the same as using mega purple.

    That said, taking general weather reports and applying them to vineyards with an eye toward determining the profile of wine is IMOP silly and unproductive. Even is so called "bad weather" vintages, many fine wines are made. Hail for example rarely affects an entire region.

    Jul 22, 2013 at 3:00 PM

  • Snooth User: Todd81
    1309734 21

    I see Wolkersdorf but do not see Claire or Barossa Valley on your list. I lived in Woomera Australia for 2 years and really enjoyed Wines form both. Lindemans chardonnay, Black Opel Shiraz, Rockport Cuvee is to die for if you like Red and Champaign! I've never seen it exported. Yallumba is also nice

    Jul 22, 2013 at 11:11 PM

  • Snooth User: Todd81
    1309734 21

    Looking for Australia all together in reference to the above.

    Jul 22, 2013 at 11:13 PM

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