Cl imate Change
The question of climate change and glob-
al warming is not an “If” scenario, but a
“What,” “Where,” “When,” and “How” sce-
nario. As prudent farmers in the Napa Val-
ley, we are constantly thinking about this as
we plan for the future. Napa’s wine industry,
while producing just 4% of California’s wine
grape harvest, has an economic impact on
our county of $13 billion dollars annually. It
also represents 27% of the value of the Cali-
fornia wine industry’s economic impact on
the US economy—so there’s a lot at stake
for all of us.
Winemakers are farmers—and as farmers,
live not by the climate, but much more by
the weather, ie: day to day, week to week,
season to season, and year to year. In or-
der to get clear evidence of climate change,
winemakers need to be able to compare
trends over decades—this is not a perspec-
tive on the usual human scale.
A study, Climate Change in the Napa Val-
ley sponsored by the Napa Valley Vintners,
was competed in 2011 after more than four
years. Evaluating local climate is more dif-
ficult than the vintner task force thought,
and trying to develop a model that de-
scribes our Napa Valley both longitudinal-
ly and transversely became less tangible.
What was concluded was there has been
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