2008年2月16日 星期六

Oenophile Worries on the Vine




WordNet: oenophile
Note: click on a word meaning below to see its connections and related words.
pronunciation Variant of enophile.

The noun has one meaning:

Meaning #1: a connoisseur of fine wines; a grape nut
Synonyms: oenophilist, wine lover
vine PhoneticPhoneticPhoneticPhoneticPhoneticPhonetic Hide phonetics
noun [C]
1 (ALSO grapevine) the climbing plant which produces grapes as its fruit
See also vineyard.

2 any type of plant which climbs or grows along the ground and which has woody twisting stems:
Ivy is a type of vine.

(from Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary)

Worries on the Vine


Published: February 16, 2008

IN the coming decades, might oenophiles be debating the subtle aromas and delicate flavors of all the great new wines coming out of Saskatchewan?


Alex Eben Meyer

Maybe. Global warming affects grapes just as surely as any other crop. With wine, though, where slightly more shade or sun can profoundly affect quality and character, the effects of climate change exert a particularly strong influence.

It is not clear yet just how extensively or in precisely what ways the wine business will be changed as the planet heats up, though wine watchers have their theories. “Get ready to say bye-bye to French Bordeaux and hello to British champagne,” warns the anonymously written blog called Global Warming ... Global Warning.

In an effort to get a handle on the problem, viticulturists and other experts from around the world (as well as Al Gore, via satellite) are assembling in Barcelona this weekend for the International Conference on Climate Change & Wine.


viticulturist

(′vit·ə′kəl·chə·rəst) (agriculture) A grower of grapes.


At the last conference, in 2006, the Wine Academy of Spain said that grapes worldwide are ripening faster, sugar and alcohol content are rising, and the aroma is losing its complexity. A changing climate could alter the character of regional wines. The pinot noirs of Northern California and the Pacific Northwest, which need cool temperatures and great care to thrive, could be endangered, for example. The cabernet sauvignons of Napa and Sonoma Counties in California could be at risk if that region becomes hotter and drier — more like California’s Central Valley growing region.

The effects of warming are diverse and hard to predict. Some wine regions may see drought; others, too much rain.

Not all the news is bad. Some winemakers in New Zealand, for example, are looking forward to the effects of climate change. Warmer temperatures there could help them produce more of their high-quality wines and expand into more varietals, notes Robert Knox of the blog Environmental Graffiti.

On the other hand, the Australian wine industry is “feeling the effects of a prolonged drought,” Mr. Knox notes. “Grape production has fallen drastically, leading to rising prices and a reduction in the production of the reasonably priced, good quality wines that have made the country’s reputation.”


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