Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Our Winemaker Marta Kraftzeck goes to Spain for a Global Warming Conference

Jerez de la Frontera is the center of the Sherry region of Spain. Sherry is a very old style of wine made from Palomino fino grapes. The region is very warm and has little rainfall. The best soils are the unique Albariza which is high in calcium carbonate and has a very high water holding capacity. The relatively neutral wine that is produced initially is transformed through either physical or biological oxidative aging processes to become a light refreshing fino style, or an elegant, more complex amontillado or oloroso wine that is often aged 20 to 30 years or more. The pictures of the barrels show the “flor” of yeast that act as a protective covering for the wine aging beneath it. All sherry is fortified after the initial fermentation to different degrees of alcohol, from 15.5% to 17.5% depending on the style it is destined to be.

The Conference on Climate Change and Wine took place in Barcelona. Causes and problems were discussed. Increases in global warming will change the regions where grapes can be grown. Different varieties will have to be planted as cool climates become warmer and some areas will cease to produce quality wines. This can happen in as little as 50 years. The question was posed “ Has the greatest Bordeaux already been produced?”. Innovative producers such as Miguel Torres from Spain have already begun to move their vineyards to cooler climates and higher altitudes so that future generations of winemakers will still be able to produce a style of wine that is typical of their regions.
Al Gore spoke of the grass roots movement within various industries, such as the wine industry, to take responsible action for the carbon footprint we are leaving behind. We need to rethink. The future of packaging within our industry will change as countries such as Australia adopt wine sold in “tetra-pak”, an alternative to glass. Different grape varieties can be bred to adapt to the increased temperature changes and decreased availability of water. We will begin to see more interesting wines produced from regions such as Belgium, England and Denmark. The USA must join with the OIV, the International Organization of Wines and Vines, and we must act globally to take responsibility for future generations of wine drinkers.


ryan said...

Wish we had had a chance to meet at the conference! Bummer, oh well, maybe next time for now though we do have a bunch of videos from the conference going up on our site as we speak, so you can relive it a bit. Also making sure your blog is listed on wineblogger.info! Cheers,

Ivan said...

Sorry. Look please here

Tor Hershman said...

As a friend 'o' de grape you may dig moi's lill' YouTube version of an ooooooooooold drinkin' song, you'll know the tune.


Stay on groovin' safari,