What About Global Warming ?
First off, let me say that I DO think it's real. The last heat wave was not really a result, in my mind, but a creepy indicator of how fragile we really are. We don't have air conditioning at home, but even if we did, what about brownouts, blackouts and the like? They are all part of the same machine.
There has been some news recently about how all the prime wine growing regions are going to be decimated and that the prime latitudes further north than those with which we are accustomed. It seems like the last time this surfaced, it was some of the same group of scientists from just north of California’s legendary latitudes.(Abstract of Study)
I’m not a real big conspiracy theorist, nor do I have a Realtors license, but I do know that humans can be very similar to sheep on some occasions. This just may be one of them, sort of like a stock analyst with a bead on the next best thing (and a few stocks neatly secured beforehand).
Again, I do think the globe has some issues and whether they are human-generated or just dumb luck, it’s a little early to know for sure. I’ve read some pieces on the subject of Mt. Pinatubo, peat bogs and other natural phenomenon that give one pause. Humans have an impact, for sure, but can it rate with natural processes?
Getting back to vineyards and latitudes, I do take solace in the fact that our vineyard is quite close to the San Francisco Bay and the weather patterns here are driven by some pretty grand forces. We all know about the importance of coastal coolness for the best wine grapes and the Napa Valley enjoys these influences from the south and the north ends of the valley.
A major influence of the fog pattern is the “thermal trough” that forms in the Sacramento Valley which pulls marine air through the Golden Gate like a vacuum cleaner. Between the great big and hot Valley and the great big ocean, I figure that pattern isn’t going anywhere so we’re not pulling up stakes for Medford, Oregon anytime soon. Perhaps I would be more wary in a more continental climate zone, but for now, we believe Napa Valley and great wine are here to stay for the foreseeable future.