No, not the Pinot Noir!

Now I don t want to alarm you but climate change might not just mean global degradation, destruction of our biodiversity, and threats to humanity.  It could also lower the quality or quantity of Waipara Valley wine.   The IPCC report, which comments on the impact of Climate Change on the entire world, put aside a paragraph to say this about the Waipara River:

Future effects on coastal erosion include climate-induced changes in coastal sediment supply and storminess. In Pegasus Bay (New Zealand), shoreline erosion of up to 50 m is likely between 1980 and 2030 near the Waipara River if southerly waves are reduced by 50%, and up to 80 m near the Waimakariri River if river sand is reduced by 50% (p 520)

3 Comments Posted

  1. Oops. Yes bloody out of touch Wellington frog. I’ll go back to mocking Bob Clarkson now. Still, not sure I want that stuff you mentioned eroding either.

  2. Sorry Frog, but shoreline erosion near the Waipara River mouth (which is already happening near Amberley Beach & the golf course) will have no impact on on the quality of the valley’s pinots, because the vineyards are several km inland on the other side of some hills.

    A little gentle warming will probably improve the wine, and a reduction in frosts will save some vineyards a lot of money in helicopters and wind machines, but in the longer run (say 30 years) we might be getting a bit warm for finesse in the pinot, and be looking to merlot, cabernet and syrah. The syrahs are already very nice in a good year – which is why I’ve planted some. 😉

    (That reference to shoreline erosion was in the Australia & NZ chapter of WG2 back in April, and came from earlier work by NIWA (IIRC), and was referred to in a certain climate change in NZ book I could mention).

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