Weather Change and what it means for California wines

by Jana Harvey on May 23, 2011

In the 37 years I’ve been making wine it seems that as of late weather has had more to do with vintage variance than in the past.  Whether we want to call it global warming or climate change and whether it is man made or a natural occurrence, it is causing greater variations in the wines produced vintage to vintage.  Is this bad?  So far, it hasn’t been.  If anything, it has produced more distinctive wines.  I like to make wines that talk to you.  The wine needs to tell a number of stories.  One – it needs to say what variety it is, two – where it comes from, and three – what vintage grew it.  If picked at maturity, but not beyond maturity, California wines will tell you the first two stories.  But, since our climate was always so uniform the third story was harder to ascertain.  Now with wider swings in California climate the third story of vintage variance is creating more enjoyment in tasting and drinking the wines.

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