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Tim York

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What other wine regions are vulnerable to wildfires?

by Tim York » Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:55 am

With the coincidence of the news of the Californian fires and of the White House's digging into climate change denial, I can't help wondering whether the next years will see more well loved wine regions being devastated by fire. Here are a few candidates -

Australia, Provence, Corsica, Portugal and Greece have already had serious fire damage but AFAIK it has it has only affected major wine areas in the first. However that may only be a matter of good luck. Expect more wine area damage in the future.

High on my list of concern is Chianti country. It has vegetation quite similar to Provence's and heat waves like this summer's Lucifer of increasing frequency.

The Landes forest which goes along the French Atlantic coast from the Gironde estuary to the Basque country is subject to fires but, again AFAIK, they have never threatened Bordeaux vineyards. The nearest are those in Pessac/Léognan and Graves. Those in the Médoc are further away and may be protected by humidity from the Gironde.

What about risks in the Rhône valley, Languedoc/Roussillon, Spain, rest of Italy, Chile......? The Mistral and Tramontane winds in the first two are additional risk factors.
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Brian K Miller

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Re: What other wine regions are vulnerable to wildfires?

by Brian K Miller » Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:45 pm

Well, Chile had major fire damage during the past couple of years. If anything, the Central Valley of Chile is drier than Northern California until one gets well south.
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Peter May

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Re: What other wine regions are vulnerable to wildfires?

by Peter May » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:05 pm

South Africa Cape winelands get bush fires every summer, 2017 is no different

http://www.traveller24.com/News/4-major-wine-estates-burnt-in-the-winelands-fires-continue-20170111

I can't think of a year in the past 30 that I#ve been there and not seen great burned areas, and I've seen some fires

Frequent bush fires also in Australia led to research there that showed smoke from such fires contributed a 'smoky' taste to wines as a result of grapes and vine leaves having had minute smoke particles settling on them

see
http://www.academicwino.com/2011/07/does-smoke-exposure-to-grape-vines.html/
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Brian K Miller

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Re: What other wine regions are vulnerable to wildfires?

by Brian K Miller » Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:29 pm

Peter May wrote:
Frequent bush fires also in Australia led to research there that showed smoke from such fires contributed a 'smoky' taste to wines as a result of grapes and vine leaves having had minute smoke particles settling on them

see
http://www.academicwino.com/2011/07/does-smoke-exposure-to-grape-vines.html/


The 2008 vintage, particularly in Mendocino and northern Sonoma, had pronounced smoke taint. A Lioco Indica (Carrigan was definitely smokey)
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Joe Moryl

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Re: What other wine regions are vulnerable to wildfires?

by Joe Moryl » Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:43 pm

Everyone may remember the wildfire in Portugal that killed over 60 people earlier this year. That wasn't in a well known wine region, but since wine grapes are grown just about everywhere in the country, I'm sure some growers must have been affected. There were many other smaller fires, as there seems to be just about every year. In August, I took a train from Guarda to Porto and saw some burnt out landscapes, including vineyards, around Gouveia, which has some prime Dao growing sites. There was also a raging fire in Mealhada, between Coimbra and Aveiro, which would probably be in the Bairrada wine region. And Spain was extremely dry too, although I didn't personally see any fires.
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Re: What other wine regions are vulnerable to wildfires?

by Brian K Miller » Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:02 pm

Many of the more desolate scenes filmed in the "Clint" 1960s westerns were shot in Spain, I understand. Only strange thing is some of the scenery looks to lack enough vegetation to burn. :shock:
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Re: What other wine regions are vulnerable to wildfires?

by Joe Moryl » Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:00 pm

Brian K Miller wrote:Many of the more desolate scenes filmed in the "Clint" 1960s westerns were shot in Spain, I understand. Only strange thing is some of the scenery looks to lack enough vegetation to burn. :shock:


Yes, on the planes between Madrid and Salamanca it is hard to imagine there being enough to sustain a fire, but I'm sure it can still happen.

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