Genre: Historical Fiction
Word Count: 175
Why was the grape harvest so low in the California vineyards this year? Was the drought the cause? All the grape growers in the area were abuzz about how the drought hurt the crops. If Mother Nature didn’t cooperate and end this drought, the delta would be further compromise the vineyards and wineries.
Big business growers fared better than the family vineyards with the funds to drill deeper wells, affecting the delta. Many of the family vineyards had already gone bankrupt and with new legislation from the capital, it was bound to get worse. The wine economy definitely was failing.
And people said there was no climate change crisis. When were they going to open their eyes and stop denying there was a problem? The drought and higher temperatures were just the tip of the iceberg (if only California had an iceberg).
Even the changes in the laws were years too late for the crisis. Like it or not, the water crisis was here to stay and soon more than wine country would be affected.
The California Drought and Climate Change
Climate change or global warming is affecting much of California’s Vineyards and the wines produced. Already the drought has been in effect since 2011 with no sign of change in the weather.
According to Napa Valley Register.com:
While winemaking is a complex web of connected influences such as soil type, exposure, trellising (i.e., vine training), canopy management, row orientation, clonal selection and, of course, the direct influence of the winemaker, temperature is perhaps the most critical and least subject to corrective intervention.
Warmer temperatures result in higher sugar levels (translating to higher alcohol) and lower acidity that declines as sugar increases. Warm temperatures can also harm color, flavor and tannin development through decreased phenolic production.
Even with the drastic legislation from The Governor of California (see quote below) the cutbacks and changes may be too late. According to the SFGATE stated:
Gov. Jerry Brown ordered California’s first-ever mandatory water cutback, imposing a 25 percent reduction to force residents and businesses to significantly tighten up water use.
Will this be enough to curtail the changes in the California vineyards?