It was about 10 years ago that a number of reports and scholarly articles began to focus on what effects climate change would have on vineyards and the winemaking industry in California. The general conclusion was that while “warmer nights have boosted growth of high-quality wine grapes in the Napa Valley and other parts of California, further warming may not be as beneficial. Wine grapes are already close to their climate thresholds in California, so even minor warming is likely to cause lower yields, quality, or both.
In the time that has passed Napa County has been relatively slow to agree upon and release a climate plan. However, the past couple years have really shown that above all California is very susceptible to the effects of climate change, droughts and wildfires have hit the State pretty hard.
The California wine industry ships domestically and internationally more than half a billion cases annually with retail sales around $35 billion. It’s a big business and its in danger. A National Academy of Sciences has estimated that within the continental US the total area suitable for growing premium wines could be reduced by as much as 81 percent by end of the century .
Later this Spring Napa County should release it’s Climate Plan, will be happy to read it.
Many of the facts named above can be found at the related article for Napa Valley at Climate Heat Maps.