Wineries and growers in California are hedging their risk from a changing climate by purchasing vineyard land in Oregon and Washington. The Northwest states, relative newcomers to the wine business, initially were known for Pinot Noir and Riesling, varieties that struggled in cooler environments but did spectacularly well some vintages. The quality of Northwest wines, though, varied from year to year because of inconsistent weather. Wines produced in the prime regions of northern California, differentiated themselves according to micro-climates, with weather patterns predictably reliable each year.
As the planet warms, vintners see northern California wine grapes becoming more like their cousins in the dry, hot Central Valley: abundant yields producing wines lacking nuance, usually blended into inexpensive bulk-produced wines. Northwest climate is becoming what California was, growing premium wine grapes that are now thriving further north.Continue reading “Random Climate Factoids”