Mark Aselstine
July 3, 2012 | Mark Aselstine

Hot Temperatures and Bad Wine?

It’s one of the giant problems in the wine industry, grapes grow faster at warmer temperatures and grow more consistently (both good thing for winery owners) but the resulting wine usually isn’t very good.

There in lies the real challenge facing the industry, can you find a range of wines which happily grow at warm temperatures, but produce a higher quality of wine?

We know that Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and especially Pinot Noir don’t react well to consistent 100 degree heat-that’s how we end up with so much almost undrinkable jug wine at grocery stores and drug stores across the country.

I saw a story the other day in an agriculture magazine about how researchers at UC Davis and bringing in native grape varieties from warmer European climates and are trying to plant them in the incredibly warm San Joaquin Valley in California.  While our traditional grapes do not do well in those climates, might other choices from warmer parts of Europe like Spain, Greece and Italy fare better?  It seems reasonable to think so and it’s an exciting project.  More cheap and drinkable wine would be a good thing as the industry continues to expand.


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