Decanter recently announced that former Vice President Al Gore has been named a keynote speaker at the Wine Academy of Spain's second annual International Climate Change and Wine Conference in Barcelona in 2008. Gore is both an obvious and curious choice, given that he has no wine background. Nevertheless, An Inconvenient Truth , his 2006 film (and book) about global warming, has been heralded around the world and has injected new vigor into the climate change debate. And grapes are especially sensitive to the slightest variations in weather, so this promises to be a powerful talk.
The two-day conference features topics ranging from climate change's impact on agriculture to an outlook on the future of wine-making as the earth grows warmer. There's also a guided tasting of the wines of climate change (I'm especially curious about this session, so if you attend, please let us know).
As a New Yorker, I can tell you that the past few months have been baffling, weatherwise. Monday's high broke 89 degrees; it felt more like August than October. I visited Los Angeles two weeks ago and it was cooler there than it was here. Is it boot or flip-flop weather? Without checking the reports, I'm nearly always wrong. I cannot imagine what it's like for winemakers. A flurry of headlines from around the country have speculated on this year's harvest and the bleak future. Here's just a partial list:
Climate Change and its Implications for Wine From Wine Business International 3/8/2007
Congressman Thompson Focuses on Climate Change at UC Davis Presentation From Daily News Links, 04/16/2007
Climate Change The Congress on Climate and Viticulture provided a glimpse into how climate change is already affecting our industry From Wine Business Monthly, 06/15/2007
Climate Change Effects on Wine From The Napa Valley Register 9/7/2007
There's a great deal more being reported on this subject than can be listed here. I look forward to continuing this thread.
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