So…the world is coming to an end. Ok not really, but the weather across the world is really strange this year. Not that I am following in the family trend of discussing the weather…but the weather is potentially having a huge impact on the 2014 harvests.
California, already facing record breaking lack of rainfall over the past few years, has had one of the hottest and driest winters in 119 years, or since records have been kept. Facing one of the largest droughts in recent history, the Governor has already declared a state of drought across the state and water saving measures are being implemented across the state. Some communities are facing with having to ship water from other states.
Farmers are concerned about the upcoming growing season. But the season isn’t over and there is the possibility for more rainfall or even more concerning – frost. Due to the heat many plants are already starting to bud and if a cold snap hits the vines are liable to be hit with frost. Normally water would be used to balance the effects but with so little water to be had there is a great concern for the viability of the vines. I personally am keeping my fingers crossed.
And then there is the frozen, snow covered tundra that is the rest of the United States. But … that doesn’t have much of an impact on the wine industry, except to make shipping hard.
On the other hand, Bordeaux, is under water. The river is flooding its banks and the growers/estates are concerned as many of the plots are under inches of standing water. (On a personal note – this has made getting to my internship impossible – as our office is right on the river and when the road floods the one bus line that stops near by doesn’t run.) But this is of concern as the excess water can cause rot and dilute the flavor of the grapes.
This is also potentially harmful for the already challenged Bordeaux region. The 2013 harvest was so poor many of the estates are opting out of this year’s crucial en primeur campaign, which will be shortly.
For my part, I just keep trying to will the rain from Bordeaux to California. But it doesn’t seem to be working….